Friday, August 4, 2017

A Hard Topic, but a Welcome Change

'I haven't posted anything in a long time and I find myself struggling how to start. I decided to post again because I felt that I needed to get everything down for myself. This week I decided to quit my dream job. I work as an Infection Control nurse and Staff Development coordinator at a nursing home and I thought that that is where I would be for the rest of my life. I graduated nursing school and started working at the nursing home right out of school. I have been through the good the bad and overly regulated in the last 2 and a half years and I was deliriously happy.'
I wrote that on 5/5/17 which was almost a month after I decided that I needed a change. I ended up putting my resignation in a little over a week later. I went through hell during that week and the next 30 days of my notice. My administrator targeted and harassed me (all with a smile of course) and pleas for help fell on the deaf ears of human resources.

I was pulled to the floor from my office to work as RN supervisor on the evening shift and struggled with the abrupt change in scheduling from my normal Monday through Friday 8-4 (and a husband of less than a year who I never got to see). I watched coworkers go through the same thing that had pushed me to a change in jobs and I struggled with the knowledge that my leaving would make situations worse. There is always a nursing shortage and I would be lying if I said I wasn't good at my job. I did agree to stay on occasional and to orient the next person to take the job because I remembered how hard it was for me starting out without any orientation.

In my last 30 days my judgement as a nurse was questioned in the name of lowering a lab bill and I was told that I should be ashamed of myself for not working unreasonable hours after getting off short notice overnight shift and no sleep and would have been unsafe being in charge, (not to mention for free because I was salary and had already worked well past 40 hours) and I was manipulated into off shifts by being told that my choices were work the off shift or work a double including the off shift. This was all on top of the pressure of maintaining my regular job and completing the majority of the post annual survey audits.

Then June 17, 2017. Last day. It was the sigh of relief I never thought I would reach. I took 1 week off to detox from that environment and the started my new job as an RN at our local hospital. Since then I have gone back to my former job a few times to help with orientation and each time leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I love my new job and am so much happier. Not only is is a relief to get out of that toxic environment, but I am finally able to begin balancing home and work life and enjoy some time with my husband!

The point of my rant here is not to put down my former workplace (I really hope that the organization can turn it's self around, it was my first job out of school and it was and continues to be very close to my heart. All the residents and most of the staff are like a second family to me and for them, I really hope for better times.) but I wanted to share my experience here hoping that if anyone else is struggling with this, they will have the courage to take a stand for themselves!

The nursing field is notorious for overworking and mistreating staff and that is partially because the wonderful staff are always working to their limits for their coworkers and for their patients. They do what they need to do to get what needs done done. The current climate of health care has put unfair pressure on health care institutions to cut costs and work to limits. It's not always their fault. There are many areas with plenty of room for change in health care. I can speak first hand for the stress that the Department of Health regulations put on a small nursing home. It is getting to the point where the regulations put in place to protect the residents, are actually hurting them by taking away from the staff's ability to do their job. The already short staffed nurses are drowning in paperwork. But that is not an excuse for poor treatment. Staff appreciation and respect go a long way.

It's always said that the grass is never greener on the other side but some times that is just not true! Unfortunately, sometimes it is up to us to hold employers to fair work expectations, by demanding to be treated like a human being. No job will ever be perfect, and there will always be bad days, or even months, but you should never be miserable in your chosen career! 

Have you ever worked somewhere where you or your coworkers were mistreated & what did you do?

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