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Author: Subject: Color-Coded Idiocy

Fanatic





Posts: 287
Registered: 31/10/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 15/11/2003 at 02:06 PM
Once upon a time, the hospital where I work was run by decent, local people. The hospital worked with the college, and the people were happy...

But then times got tough, and the hospital and clinics had to consolidate. A national buyer stepped in, and the hospital became a for-profit agency. As is the case when something goes corporate, the bottom line became more important than the people. This was more obvious than corporate realized, so they came up with some really stupid new ideas:

1. This idiotic "Heroes" thing. Just to give you a basic lowdown, the Hero of the Month award is supposed to go to someone who makes a difference to the staff and the community. The first two times, two really awesome people got the award...but this month's hero was a fucking joke. Not only is the guy an asshole, but he sexually harasses the single young women who work at the hospital. My coworkers have chased him off a time or two, and he never stays at the hospital when he's on duty. Some crackerjack security we have here. I couldn't figure it out, but tyhe disgusting rumor floating around is that he got the award because he managed to kill a deer with an impressive rack. Big deal. How does that help the hospital or the community in general?

2. In order to help the doctors, we are supposed to put tape with a certain color on their charts. God help you if you forget, or if you use the wrong tape. I got manhandled by a doctor once because one of the clerks had put his sacred tape on the wrong chart. He got written up for it, but I thought it was just petty. Heaven forbid that the doctors actually have to think, nay, get to know the patients that they treat. This has firmly convinced me that 90% of the doctors I encounter are just lazy assholes who get off on flaunting their power and bullying the nursing staff. What is also irritating is how my boss just takes it most of the time, instead of telling them where to shove it. Way to care for the nursing staff, corporate. Way to care for the patients, too. Pretty colored tape is more important than people, yessiree.

3. While I'm on the subject of colors, corporate, in their infinite wisdom, is wanting us to wear color-coded scrubs (RNs in red, LPNs in pink, CNAs in yellow, Respiratory Therapists in green, etc). Apparently, some invisible patients are upset because they can't tell who is who. As thinly as the nursing staff on my floor is spread, patients are grateful to see ANYONE, and I've never encountered a patient who really gave a rat's ass who that caregiver was or what color they wear. Most of the people who come to my floor are too ill to care about something as petty as who is wearing what color when.

Before they were allowed to wear whatever color scrubs they wanted, nursing was confined to one color: white. Once the ban was lifted, the staff reveled in the color choices. Each nurse, CNA, and clerk got to wear colors that were both flattering and spoke of their personalities (for example, I like to wear scrubs that support breast cancer awareness). Once word of the new rules started spreading, morale took a nosedive. Once again, the people in charge cahnged their minds, saying that they were going to start making the staff wear labcoats with their job titles on them...as if the people we take care of will be with it enough to really read what they say,

4. Floating staff (sending a person from their home unit to work on another unit of the hospital) out of turn is also a real morale-crusher. My mother has decades of experience with lots of different units (medical, surgical, PCU, CCU, OB, NICU), so they use that as an excuse to float her whenever and wherever they wanted her. When she complained that she was floating out of turn, they changed policy to state that staff with certain levels of experience could and would be floated out of turn at the supervisor's whim. Needless to say, my mother is burnt out on her job.

Maybe I'm an idealist, but I fail to understand what the point of all of this mindless shuffling is. We've just expanded the hospital, but now we don't have the staff for the new areas, thanks to layoffs last year. Because of corporate short-sightedness, current staff are being stretched to the limits, used and abused, to fit the absurd mold that the parent company creates.

What really galls me, though, is the fact that many of the people who run the place used to be medical professionals themselves. Did they lose touch with reality once they took the scrubs off and put a suit on? How could they forget so quickly what it's like to be expected to care for six patients who are almost all out of touch with reality and think that they are at home in the 1950s? Why can't they understand how much work a unit clerk has to do all day wihout piling on more? When did they stop caring about the people and start worrying more about their own pocketbooks?

I know I took my job because I was in dire need of money...but I stayed because I believed in the idea that I was making a difference...doctors, nursing staff, clerks, techs...we all work together with the common goal of helping people heal and get back to the kind of lives that they wanted to lead, if they can lead those lives again. I stayed because I thought helping people should be the bottom line, not the profit margin. Maybe if I was running things, I'd be more worried about profits...

But I'm just a clerk, and my job is to do the best I can to help those around me help those who need us...

 

____________________
"To Live is to Annoy." -- Rev. Lambert Reilly, Archabbot, St. Meinrad Abbey

 
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Extreme Fanatic




Posts: 893
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 16/11/2003 at 12:18 AM
Oui... damn hospitals...
Color-coded scrubs? I don't think the majority of patients at the hospital could discern a RN, LPN, or CNA even if they painted their qualification on their forehead. And if its so that hospital employees can tell the difference, then I'm mildly perterbed. All employees should take the responsibility to know their coworkers well enough to know what they are. Sheesh...

And how do they get off with laying off employees? Isn't there a damn nursing shortage as it is?

Grr...

My dad and mother are both nurses, and the first hospital they worked at (Saint Mary's Hospital, if you care), was a real assinine place. The nurses were disrespected, management was unsupportive, and other bullshit like that.
So they left. His (my mom quit for good) current hospital is better, but there's still the assorted crap being flung from coworkers.
Fortunately, now he's the charge nurse and has seniority on almost everyone, so management trusts his opinions and decisions.

 

____________________
Piggy's got the Conch!

 

Fanatic




Posts: 287
Registered: 31/10/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 16/11/2003 at 12:58 AM
Like I said...the common sense comes off with the scrubs...

As for the layoffs...that was about 9 months ago...but hey, we have a shiny new wing and no one to staff it...morons...lol..

Everyone has individual tastes...one of the CNAs likes to wear black scrubs...he's one of the coolest people I know, but he looks like an angel of death...

We've all filed major protests about the scrubs thing...it's bad enough that they dehumanize the patients...and now they want to make the staff into little color-coded drones...

"We are the nursing staff. Resistance is futile. You will be innoculated."

 

____________________
"To Live is to Annoy." -- Rev. Lambert Reilly, Archabbot, St. Meinrad Abbey

 

Extreme Fanatic




Posts: 1570
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 16/11/2003 at 12:49 PM
"you will be innoculated" oh god that's precious You seriously should make a little lapel pin with that on it.

And I also don't understand the layoffs when there is a MASSIVE nursing shortage EVERYWHERE (especially in washington state). I would change hospitals if I were you.

I'm thinking about going into nursing, and I'll be damned if I would put up with policies like that. I doubt that a patient knows NOR cares what color scrubs a person is wearing. What, do they hand a little chart to them or hang them on the wall with the color codes and job descriptions? As long as everyone knows their job, and where they should be to DO their job, then just let them be. I'm sorry but I've always been WAY more comfortable around a nurse with crazy scrubs, not color coded responsibility scrubs. The best nurse I've ever seen was the one that took over my husband's care when his lung collapsed. She had crazy fake red dye job and jungle scrubs topped off with an iguana shaped stethescope cover. She constantly cracked jokes about getting to see his underwear, then about how he technically SHOULDN"T be wearing underwear, and how sad she was that she didn't get to tell her husband about her usual "free peek". Then cheerily administered demoral, declaring "christ you're in a hospital. It's my right and duty to keep you doped to the eyeballs."

 

____________________
Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Low on gas.

 

Fanatic




Posts: 287
Registered: 31/10/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 16/11/2003 at 01:25 PM
bettie_x: Conformity is for the borg, and I'd trust a happy, coloful nurse over one whose individuality is supressed by people too stupid to care about morale. Besides, happy nurses are more fun to work with.

The best part is, now they're actually trying to hire new help, and the community is so jaded by corporate now that they're lucky if they can get a food service worker to stay on for more than a month. They prattle on and on about "customer service," forgetting that the employees are customers, too. With the rate of pay that we get, it feels more like indentured servitude.

Congrats on considering nursing. You couldn't enter a more noble, underrated profession. I'm just a unit drudge, but I see some really awesome nurses in action every day. It's kind of like a hallmark moment, but less sappy. But we also have the lazy fucktard nurses....there was one that left a patient steeping in her own urine and feces for EIGHT hours...she claimed that she was "too busy" to change the patient...fortunately, she's leaving nursing...I wish the others like her would do the same...

As for switching jobs, I'm already on that. I like KV, but the job market's pretty dry, so I'm probably going to move once my divorce is final or my lease is up...whichever comes first...I've found some good job opneings in my field at the University, and I'd have the added bonus of being within spitting distance of Feral, so it's all good. *grins evilly*

 

____________________
"To Live is to Annoy." -- Rev. Lambert Reilly, Archabbot, St. Meinrad Abbey

 

Fanatic




Posts: 598
Registered: 24/8/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 16/11/2003 at 03:34 PM
There are a lot of super awesome jobs out there that are so fucking necessary, and yet are being stomped on. Nursing is one of them. It really kills me to hear about the crap my mom has to go through at work. Too much bullshit, not enough paycheck. It's a damn good thing that she really loves her work, or she might have gone ballistic years ago.
Why is it that every administrator out there thinks that color coding will make everything right with the world?

 

____________________
Okay, dazzle me.

 

Extreme Fanatic




Posts: 618
Registered: 27/9/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 17/11/2003 at 02:58 AM
Maybe they match the colors to the pills they take. Makes about as much sense as any reason they might offer.

 

____________________
"When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before." ~Mae West


 

Fanatic




Posts: 287
Registered: 31/10/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 17/11/2003 at 11:56 PM
lol...you know, Vicodin and Darvocet come in pretty colors...

take too many, and you pretty much have the mentality of the administration...immune to pain and too stupid to give a damn...

 

____________________
"To Live is to Annoy." -- Rev. Lambert Reilly, Archabbot, St. Meinrad Abbey

 

Fanatic




Posts: 598
Registered: 24/8/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 18/11/2003 at 12:05 AM
Leave us not forget the ever popular Little Blue Pill.
All those pricks at the office stand up just a little taller.

 

____________________
Okay, dazzle me.

 

Fanatic




Posts: 287
Registered: 31/10/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 18/11/2003 at 12:39 AM
MW: *LMAO* That reminds me...the head of HR where I work is this guy in his 40s who thinks he's the hospital stud. He's handsome, goes to the gym, colors his hair, has kids in college and a secretary with freshly plumped bosoms...

...yet the little blue pill is his friend...

Gotta love the irony.

And yes, he is a prick whether he can get it up or not.

 

____________________
"To Live is to Annoy." -- Rev. Lambert Reilly, Archabbot, St. Meinrad Abbey

 
 


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