Nurses are growing tired. Days are getting longer. The fatigue from shift after shift of long hours and hard work leaves us feeling defeated because it simply feels like we CAN’T HANDLE IT ALL!
Is it because we don’t have enough BSN nurses in the field?…I think not. Is it because we don’t “manage our time” well? I think not. Is it because we aren’t prioritizing? I think not….
The Giant Elephant Being Ignored
NURSE TO PATIENT RATIOS!!
I go to give report to the oncoming nurse and I am feeling guilty for all of the “tasks” that I didn’t get around to doing. So guilty that I don’t even let the oncoming nurse know about it, and I just stay an hour or two late to do it all and chart on everything else. It’s half because I want to help the oncoming nurse out, and half because I don’t want to deal with the occasional attitude from a not so understanding nurse. This frustrates me a little bit, because I have worked on both sides and I know what each entails. We need to all have a better understanding of the issue at hand:
We’re ALL spread too thin….
Do they think we don’t GET IT?
My ratio is usually a 4 to 1, and just THAT can be consuming with high patient acuity. Even when we get pushed to 5, it can hurt! One more patient makes a HUGE difference. That’s one more LIFE you have to take care of SAFELY! I’m not complaining with my ratios now, but I was when I left my past position. As a matter of fact, it WAS the reason I left. And when I requested an exit interview and shared my concern for nurse and patient safety, they didn’t even care. As a matter of fact, my HR rep looked at me like, “This is why you’re leaving?” Holy cow! Are you kidding? They didn’t even care that they were losing a good nurse, and that to me said a lot about their institution. Do these administrators and hospitals think we don’t understand what’s going on? They need to because I have a strong feeling there will be a giant strike soon, as more and more are speaking up and not tolerating this treatment! We don’t hate the administrators, we just want you to hear our voices and help US support you! Right now, we resent decisions made up at the top because we feel there is a strong lack of understanding and disconnect! If you have no nurses, you have NO business! There’s nothing you can’t understand about that!
This Isn’t Burger King
Can you imagine all of these institutions that are throwing 6,7, 8….and even MORE patients at their nurses? And then to stand, fatigued and exhausted at the end of shift only to listen how patient satisfaction scores have decreased and we need to work harder on them? Well why don’t you just kick me while I’m down?! It’s no longer “we care about your loved one and will do our best to take care of you and meet your needs”, and now “we must meet ALL of your needs now matter what it takes or how unreasonable, and the more you complain the more we will cater.”
Nurses are SO tired of being puppets! We want to be care takers! We want to be lovers! We want to take time to safely take care of our patients. We want to not be consumed by hourly pain assessments/documentation, being yelled at because their room is too small/cold/loud/cluttered, running down to the cafeteria because food wasn’t to the frequent complainer’s liking, calling patient relations for EVERY LITTLE ISSUE to make sure we smooth it over so our “scores” stay up, and having to call the doctor for ever little issue a patient has just because they need a medication for every symptom just to feel they are being “cared for.”
The BIGGER Issue at Hand
I went home the other night to open an article about the importance of nurses going back to school for their BSNs because evidence base practice states that essentially they are smarter and safer nurse (emoji eye roll). Have you ever heard the story about the woman going in for a complicated surgery and they asked her which doc she wanted doing the high risk surgery? Did she want The MD who was fresh out of med school but was considered the “smartest” MD to ever graduate, or the reputable MD who has 15 plus years of experience and thousands of success stories with this exact procedure? Do we need to never ask who she picked? The EXPERIENCED doc!
We don’t need to be publishing and sharing articles on furthering education. We need to be focusing on safe staffing ratios. THIS directly correlates with decreased patient mortality rates and I don’t need any evidence base practice to prove that, just half a brain!!
Happy Nurses = Happy Patients
I feel frustrated with all of the BSN shenanigans leading to better outcomes and satisfaction because I feel like we are missing the BIG picture! Having more nurses with a BSN isn’t going to decrease the risk of mortality amongst patients alone. Having SAFE STAFFING RATIOS for nurses is going to decrease mortality AND increase satisfaction. You will have HAPPY nurses AND happy patients! It’s a WIN/WIN! Right now you have nurses trying to keep their heart alive and spirits up for this profession because they have a little hope left that things will improve, and mildly satisfied patients. Even the smartest nurse on the face of the planet couldn’t safely take care of 10 cardiac patients! It’s that plain and simple. Why are we overlooking this GIANT issue at hand!?
We’re Running our “Own” Off
Nurses are so tired. I blog to help encourage and support them because I have identified personally how hard this profession has become! I gave report to a nurse the other night and the first words out of her mouth were “I’m so tired of this s***.” She was getting hit with an admit at shift change and they were trying to call report while I was handing off my verbal. I don’t think it was so much the admit that got her going. It was the years of seeing things go downhill prior to that night, and her spirit being so SHOT from all of the runaround that the profession has become. Pushing satisfaction and customer service over safety for patients and nurses. They would never say that’s what they’re doing, but essentially that’s what it is!
Taking a stance!
I love being a nurse and taking care of people, but I am so heart broken over what I’ve seen the business of this profession do to people! If Florence Nightingale came back from her grave, she would have to slap someone! This isn’t nursing. This isn’t care!
Myself along with many others are standing up in Washington DC to support this beautiful profession. There are a lot of layers to be shed before we get to these mandated staffing ratios, but we HAVE to start wiping off the dirt at some point. And the time is NOW!
I urge anyone reading this to get involved. Plug yourself in to Show Me Your Stethoscope or a local group supporting Safe Staffing Initiatives! It is up to the NURSES….the HEART AND SOUL of this profession to support it!
Hear my Heart!
I would love for yall to understand my heart in all of this. It is my desire and passion to help support, encourage, and and love on the nurses in this profession! I have just identified that this is a serious matter, and it’s just going to continue getting worse until we take a stand. Do I feel we can get some where? Absolutely. There were many HUGE movements in American History that have started the same way this one has. With one person, that turned into a few, that turned into thousands. And what did they gain from it? Respect, freedom, and liberty! We nurses deserve this! And so do the patients and everyone else in this profession! Let’s start by supporting and loving each other internally, and get getting involved in small ways externally!
I believe there can and will be change.
Your Heart Is Mine,