Thursday, February 2, 2006

What Do I Do???

I'm still undecided about the mother/baby thing - mostly because I still want to gain more experience in the PCU/tele type of nursing - that is where the major demand will be in the years to come (thanks to the babyboomers).  I like taking care of patients, but I want to make good money's all about supply & demand.

I went into work on Monday night...still awaiting a call from my manager regarding my pending per diem status.  I had a very, very busy discharge, one transfer to med/surg, another patient where I just got report that there was a probability of a pulmonary embolism & the day nurse never notified the physician, another patient with chest pain and two admits.  I didn't stress out, just tried to prioritize & get things done.  What more can I do?  We were short-staffed (big surprise!), so the other nurses were busy also.  I don't think I took a break the entire night & I was still finishing up the paperwork at 6:30 am.  Oh well, it made the night go by quickly. 

Turns out the patient with the pulmonary embolism also had a DVT in her left calf.  I think I scared her when I told her she's on strict bedrest...that she is not to get out of the bed for any reason.  She was afraid to even move in bed.  I explained to her the reasons for the bed rest & that she was allowed to move in bed.  Educate, educate, educate.

Anyways, even with as busy as I was that night...I was coming to a conclusion that I like it there (other than the administration) & that at a per diem rate, I could see myself continuing at this hospital.  How quickly things can change...

Along came Tuesday evening - I had only 2 hours of sleep during the day (grrr) & I see my manager in the hallway.  I truly felt like a stalker tracking down my prey.  It's ridiculous that she doesn't return phone calls.  So I stop her & ask the status of going per diem.  She says she already has enough per diem nurses, so basically NO, I cannot go per diem.  She needs to hang onto her "staff" nurses.  Ummm....I thought per diem still was considered staff.  Whatever!  Like Gina says...she's basically giving me that push that I need to jump into travel/agency nursing.  There are no other options unless I want my payrate at the bottom of the "nursing" barrel.

In the meantime, I have the staffing person calling me multiple times - begging me to work Sunday night - Superbowl night.  They are very shortstaffed (big surprise!) & desperate.  She says they'll do whatever it takes - yet another lie.  They are offering to bring in food.  Big deal!  Absolutely no $$ incentive to volunteer to work that night.  They are trying to teach the staff a lesson not to be greedy, so they no longer offer us bonus incentives to pick up extra shifts.  Instead they rather pay an agency something like $60-70/hr to send over a nurse to cover.  Makes no sense to me from a financial viewpoint, but then again - I never want to go into administration.  Basically they are pissing off their own staff nurses by taking away incentives, yet paying more than twice as much for an agency nurse...all while complaining that they need more staff nurses.  The other night, they started out with only 3 nightshift nurses for 26 PCU patients - they were begging dayshift nurses to stay later (but offered no incentive).  They also had 17 patients waiting in the ER to come to the floor!!!  Common sense isn't so common & it's definitely being displayed right now with the changes they are making.  Needless to say, I won't be working there Sunday night or any other night except for the 2 nights a month that I'm scheduled...not unless things change.

I am currently checking into travel/agency nursing.  It is a little scary to go into a new facility not knowing how well received you will be as an agency nurse....but at $35-45 per hour, I can overcome those fears  I know Florida pays the worst when it comes to nursing wages, but I'm not ready to venture very far at this point.  I still have my dog & unless I can bring him with me...I'm not going very far & I'm not leaving him behind.  I do want to see the US, but (hopefully) there is plenty of time for that in the future. 

As far as the mother/baby unit goes...I haven't made a decision - haven't told them yes or no.  It's still an option at this point. The fact that it's a great opportunity still keeps it in the back of my mind.

I had a patient say to me last night that it must be a calling to be able to take care of patients...that she knows it's hard work.  I told her taking care of patients is actually one of the's all the paperwork & doctors & administration that drains us.  I really do wish I had more time to spend with my patients as opposed to the paperwork.  I can't even imagine what the future holds as the babyboomers are aging & it looks as though there will be a huge nursing shortage.  Something's got to change or nurses will leave the industry.  I don't want to discourage any nursing students out there - it's a great career, the money is pretty good....I have no regrets about choosing this field. 

I'll keep ya updated!

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