Dang! It's been ages since I posted anything worthwhile.
One of our regular staff members handed in her notice. Remember how I stated night shift staffing was in dire straits before? That out of a total of 37 slots, we only had staff covering 17? That even with float pool picking up some of the slack we were still left short?
Well, it is only gonna get worse.
The past two weeks I've worked 6 days a week... my regular 3 12-hour shifts plus and extra 12 and an extra 8. Of course, I can say "no" - but I still have college debt to pay, my car loan, my rent, my utilities...
*sigh* In a way, I guess I'm lucky I don't have to provide for anyone else besides me or that I don't own property with a mortgage...
But what ever doubts I might have had about leaving this joint, the past month has erased it.
Besides a couple episodes where I was chewed out for absurd reasons, management's rather "nonchalant" attitude about staffing the floor has convinced me. All I've heard are empty promises ("We're hiring new people" - well, instead of hiring 4 nurses, all we got was 1) and window dressing ("We're shuffling the shifts nursing techs work to provide better coverage" - sounds good and may actually help a little, but the elephant in the room is lack of adequate nursing staff).
The only thing the unit has going for it is the incredible camaraderie the nurses and techs on the shifts have for each other - despite the occasional back biting that goes on. Remember my buddy George? Well, he pretty much promised to hunt me down and kill me if I ever left him here at this joint all by himself. I think our bonds are formed out of the common sense of despair and of being shit over all the time by management. When I had a hard time getting management approval for my vacation this year (my first in over 4 years) - my co-workers on the 3rd/2nd shift, even though they were already short staffed and over worked; were the first to step up and offer to help.
I admit, that every time I think about "moving on", I have a twinge of remorse and guilt. I've enjoyed working with my co-workers and they are for the most part a fantastic, wonderful bunch. I mean, even through our horrid staffing and working conditions; we manage to have some fun along the way. Smile. Share a laugh. Commiserate over hard cases. Cover for and support each other.
But yet, I also realize; that my tolerance of current working conditions is morally unjustifiable. I've gone through the "proper channels" in-house in search of resolution... but the prevalent attitude seems to be one of "deal with crises as they come" rather than "why are we having constant crises?" As such, I'm convinced that trying to "change policy" in this instance is futile (and I'm usually the last person to say that - besides, I tried... and have been doing that for a while).
I never really wanted to work what I am working today anyway. Don't get me wrong, I have learned TONS and I mean TONS since I started working here. I love the challenges and what might seem perverse to some, I actually like the train wreck cases I'm assigned. But my heart was never into taking care of "adult" populations anyway - I've always wanted to work Pediatrics. Especially if it's "emergent pediatrics" (read: ER in a Pediatric Hospital)... but I don't mind working the floor in a Peds hospital or even a Peds ICU (not sure about NICU, but I suppose I could give it a crack).
So I've thought about new jobs - and relocating.
I know I'm going to relocate - but it's not going to be now. Not at least until summer of next year anyway.
And by then, who knows....