My manager has left, as she was only covering for a year as the previous manager was on mat leave, and she is missed greatly!! Within a week of the returning manager arriving she has changed bed numbers around, and put all our heavy stroke patients into one room. And the previous week, she we was sick for 4 days.
Over the past month we have had a bunch of 'good' nurses leave -either moving interstate, or moving wards (units). And of course all the not so good nurses and bad nurses, are still here.
I would have to say that the nursing standards at the hospital, or at least this ward, have hit rock bottom. Not to mention the lack of communication between everyone. Pts get left in pain, drains don't get emptied, fluid restrictions don't get followed, and pts don't get washed, yes, it happens and it makes me ill. There are no ward rounds during the day so information doesn't get passed on to the nurses, and the nurses aren't able to address any issues with the doctors. Many times things get missed as they are mentioned in the notes by the MD's, but it doesn't get noticed till that evening, or that night when the notes are reviewed, and even sometimes not till the next day.
Last week I worked a set of 4 night shifts, and it was absolutely horrible. I was put in charge, which I was OK with, but there was a lot of shit that I had to deal with. I was working with an EN (aka LPN) which means assigning patients is a bit difficult, and with having one room FULL of heavy stroke patients even more difficult on nights, with only 4 staff. Luckily the first night we had 5 staff, the next 2 nights we had 4, and the last night I called to our nursing resource and got another staff member, which was a bit of a fight.
Anyways, I won't go into too much detail but to give you some idea of some of the things that are happening, here it goes.
I work with some of the laziest people ever. And rude. Yes, just down right rude. And working on an oncology ward, you need empathetic nurses. No eye contact is made, they talk so quietly you can hardly hear them, they leave stuff to get down for the next staff, and don't complete paperwork. This is just a few of the things that I can think of. And the worst, is that I hear it from the patients as well. I should NEVER have to hear complaints from pts, but it happens, a lot. It makes it really difficult to go into work worrying about what crap I'm going to have to deal with, or who I am going to be taking over from and God-forbid who I'm going to be working with. The worst is, there are so few 'good' nurses (and I consider myself a good nurse) left that none of us hardly get to work together. We see each other at handover, but that's it.
Another thing that's driving me up the wall, is all the negativity on the ward, even from 'decent' nurses. There is this one nurse, who isn't that bad. But all I here is all the stuff he has to do during the shift, and he has to do this, and that, and this wasn't done, and that wasn't done. Yes, I know that we get stuck with a lot of crap to do that wasn't done, but lets try and be a 'little' bit positive and help each other out and get through this shift. He is one of those people that likes the attention and "whoa oh is me", and I can't stand people like that. A couple weeks ago I had to work next to him and he completely drained me of my energy, I left the ward feeling completely mentally exhausted, just from listening to him rant and rave all night. Ugh. I can only take so much.
Another thing that I think is so sad, and ridiculous, and should NOT be happening at any hospital, is the lack of testing and f/u that gets done with pts. The other night we had a lady that was very, very sick, and could have gone into septic shock at ANY point, did not have an operation to drain a pocket of pus because she was not put on the operating room list. WHAT???????? How can that be happening. Sadly she is indigenous and they don't quite understand the health care system so its easy for "them" (health care professionals) to explain some nonsense bullshit as an excuse. I tell ya, if that was me, I'd be suing.
During the last set of night shifts, as charge nurse, we go through all the notes and update the handover sheet as to what's been done and needs to be done. How many times have I seen doctors write, "chase echo report", or "chase xray report", or chase lab results, blah blah blah. Its just as excuse to not look it up and do it yourself and leave it for the next person. OR, I've had doctors come in on a night shift to review a patient, and they write in the notes, leave and don't say anything to the nurses. I had a MD write a stat order for insulin in the notes, and it was missed for 2 hours as he didn't tell anyone about it!! I said something to him that night because it was just ridiculous. It goes back to the whole communication issue that is non existent. Last week we had a pt that needed a medication changed to a different route (instead of a tablet, we needed a different dissolvable tablet) and it didn't get done for at least 2 days - not sure it has even been changed?
Seriously the list goes on, and if Rob had his visa all figured out (just waiting on some work, or someway to cheat) I'd have already handed in my resignation. I kinda feel bad leaving as I know I am an asset to the ward, but I just can't take it anymore. All I think about it work, before I go to sleep, and when I wake up in the morning, and sometimes I dream about it. I have a sore back and neck, and am just not myself. I don't think that I've ever hated a job this much. Not good for my mental well-being. I've actually turned down 2 overtime shifts this stretch of days off as I'm not going to stress myself even more for just a bit more money. Hopefully by the end of the week I will have some idea what's in our future, and I will be handing in my notice, the sooner the better.