Debbie Clark

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Debbie Clark
Posted about 1 year ago
Experienced/senior nurses are being denied jobs in hospitals because their salary step would be "too expensive". Newer RNs get the jobs.
Well, William, you have hit the proverbial nail on the head!! I wanted to be a nurse since 4th grade-drew a poster as me as a nurse helping a patient in bed. THAT'S why I went into nursing-Because I care. I care for and about my patients and their families; I care about my co-workers and their need for help with patient care and their need to get breaks when they need them. I care-Period. There are other nurses with whom I have worked who also care deeply-but many aren't as altruistic (some would say unrealistic) as I am. I don't know what it is like in many business settings (maybe it's the same) but unit managers in hospitals are "middle men" (their "power" is ephemeral) and often put in untenable situations. e.g. Upper management has absolutely NO clue what we nurses have to do and deal with on a daily basis, yet they hand down policies and procedures that fill some bureaucratic/political desire to make the hospital look better, yet are virtually unrealistic or impossible to implement in a real world setting. The middle manager knows it's ridiculous, however, his/her job is on the line if every effort to implement this new (whatever it is) is not taken. The manager can't stand up for the nurses under his/her charge (even though they know it is the right thing to do-call "bullshit" to the ivory tower dudes) so mid-managers have to choose: the staff & reality of patient care on their unit or placating the upper (clueless) echelon. I've had 1 manager in 35 years that negotiated the tightrope very well. He left after about 5 years because it was getting too ridiculous. I am not "political", never have been. I DO have high standards and honesty (which I have been told many times is "to a fault"). Integrity is mine. So essentially I am agreeing with you. What can one do when, as a nurse, you are essentially a minion? As I told Keith-like the movie "Network"- "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore". Hmmm... But what, exactly, can I do? Thanks again!
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Debbie Clark
Posted about 1 year ago
Experienced/senior nurses are being denied jobs in hospitals because their salary step would be "too expensive". Newer RNs get the jobs.
Thank you, Keith. However it absolutely doesn't work that way in nursing. As I posted to William, the crucial issue is that I will NOT lie! I have my honesty and integrity integrity and I won't compromise that. We have downsized most everything (sold most all that we could)-except our home. (that is a very complex issue that I won't go into). I have searched for and applied where I could to be a representative for durable medical equipment (such as IV pumps up to sophisticated life support equipment as used in ICUs). The majority of there positions are also sales positions. I'm not really a sales person. Your suggestion for me to start something on my own is an interesting thought. I would have to solidify in my mind how that would work/what services would I offer and how. I need to overcome the disappointing and demoralizing experiences I've had. That is food for thought and I'll run some ideas past a few of my nurse friends. I most certainly appreciate the support and suggestions everyone has offered in this forum on this issue. (I still like to hear back from Lawren. His responses have been enigmatic to me!) I must continue to pursue all avenues (as I have been) and pray that the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train. Ha Ha!
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Debbie Clark
Posted about 1 year ago
Experienced/senior nurses are being denied jobs in hospitals because their salary step would be "too expensive". Newer RNs get the jobs.
Thank you, William, for your support! Advice to not tell a prospective employer, esp in nursing, how much experience/years of experience one has doesn't really fly. They are going to ask when you graduated from school and who your last few employers were. The crucial issue is I will NOT lie. I may not have much, we've sold everything we could, but I have my integrity and NOTHING will make me compromise that.
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Debbie Clark
Posted about 1 year ago
Experienced/senior nurses are being denied jobs in hospitals because their salary step would be "too expensive". Newer RNs get the jobs.
Typically the largest building you see when driving into a city is some kind of Insurance company. I agree whole heartedly that the government and corporations are rampant with greed and that seriously has to change. We have to stop paying wash DC officials salaries for a lifetime (X-presidents get $450,000/year for life when they leave office). There SHOULD be tight term limits on time in congress and when they leave they get some severance pay and a wave bye-bye. Congressional salaries should be half or one third what they are now and all in congress should share the same health care benefits as their constituents. Folks on welfare should be active in job training programs and be cut off after____years. Money appropriated for military spending should be overseen by unbiased parties so we don't have $100 hammers and $350 toilet seats. ALL of these things are true and many folks are striving to help them come to fruition-but like the saying goes "you can't fight city hall". "Money rules" because "he who has the money makes the rules". I am for all of these things. In the mean time my family is slipping closer to the poor house (or no house). I'm trying to find a job at a fair & livable wage. Just like the 1976 film Network, starring Peter Finch - "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more". But for now I just need a job!!
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Debbie Clark
Posted about 1 year ago
Experienced/senior nurses are being denied jobs in hospitals because their salary step would be "too expensive". Newer RNs get the jobs.
Thanks, Mike. You've been through the ringer, I see. I HAVE applied to both hospice and home health care/visiting nurse. As I replied to Lawren Jones-I really don't have any skills other than nursing. No retail, finance, business or insurance background. I couldn't even be a pharmacy tech unless I got certified - and that's probably a $12-15/hr job. Heck, I don't even type very well. I'll just have to keep trying
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Debbie Clark
Posted about 1 year ago
Experienced/senior nurses are being denied jobs in hospitals because their salary step would be "too expensive". Newer RNs get the jobs.
How old are you, Lawren and how many careers have you had? I've sincerely wanted to be a nurse since the 4th grade (that's about 9 years old). It's the only thing I really know how to do. I got my real estate license last year & quickly found out that it's not for me. I'm 58 years old and have been in healthcare for 40 years (counting being a nursing assistant and school). I have no retail, finance or business experience or skills.(I can't even type very well). There are, however, lots of healthcare related jobs that my experience would transfer well to. But, again, if the employer is a hospital I can't seem to get hired. I think it's interesting that what you gleaned from my post was that I didn't "like the available pay" or "working conditions". You really didn't get my point. I'm glad for you if changing careers "really is that simple". Your posts have a very lazze-fare or devil-may-care sound to them.
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Debbie Clark
Posted about 1 year ago
Experienced/senior nurses are being denied jobs in hospitals because their salary step would be "too expensive". Newer RNs get the jobs.
I don't know what field of employment you are in. Hospitals are notoriously understaffed with nurses. This is the reality: 1) patients get less attention because the RN has 7 or 8 pts to care for vs the 5 or 6 if they were able to meet the nurse/pt ratio for their unit 2) to fill these needs we work overtime (an 8 hr shift becomes a 12 hr shift, a 12 hr shift becomes a 16 hr shift.) Instead of working the typical 40hrs/ wk (for a full time 8 hr shift RN), you see 48-52 hrs/wk or 36hrs/wk (for a full time 12 hr shift RN), you see 48 or even 60hrs/wk. 3) nurses are tired when they work such overtime, errors or omissions happen-and we are grumpy. 4) ** patients don't get their pain medicines in a timely fashion**, etc. because the RNs are so overwhelmed/over worked. 5) in an intensive care setting this could mean missing the subtle signs or symptoms that a patient's condition is deteriorating and, instead of proactively warding off a code blue, the patient does indeed "code" or cardiac arrest. Did you know that, by federal law, employees are to get a 15 min break for every 4 hrs they work? And a meal break-30 min if the building you're employed in has food services (vending machines don't count) and 1 hr if you must leave your building to procure food. A 12 hour shift RN is entitled to 2-15 min breaks and a 30 min lunch. (really should be 1.25hrs total) At least half of the ICU RNs, including myself, are lucky to get to eat at all. We run into the lounge and take a couple of bites of food and rush back out. You see, unlike a lot of business settings, nurses are absolutely forbidden to have ANY food or drink (even water bottles) outside of the break room. Everything outside that break room is considered "patient care areas". And rarely are their water fountains that are easily accessible. So I hear you-"so what"... If in business setting you screw up-it costs $$ or ??. If a NURSE screws up it may cost someone their life!! I've seen it So what isn't in my vocab.
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Debbie Clark
Posted about 1 year ago
Experienced/senior nurses are being denied jobs in hospitals because their salary step would be "too expensive". Newer RNs get the jobs.
Yes-a nursing shortage continues-as it has been for over 20 years. As I stated before, hospitals can't lower the pay offered to a prospective employee because their contract with the "union" (I use that term loosely as WSNA [WA state nurses association] & 1199 NW aren't real unions. They don't do much for individual employees that need assistance with grievances or disciplinary action). But they HAVE set the standard for nursing pay scale. In the past when you hired on you were placed at a salary (or "step") equivalent to half your years of service (Nurse for 20 years would be hired at step 10 or maybe 12). Now we are given a 1:1 step ratio, though many steps only go to 25 or 30 years. If a hospital hires me they must give me credit for 35 years experience, which puts me at the top of the pay scale. See the other posts by some others.
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Debbie Clark
Posted about 1 year ago
Experienced/senior nurses are being denied jobs in hospitals because their salary step would be "too expensive". Newer RNs get the jobs.
Thank you, Mike. By your narrative I am surmising that you are also in healthcare. Poss a physician? I do hear what you are saying-healthcare/nursing is about 180 degrees from where it was when I entered the profession in 1978. Trends or practices began changing decades ago with the advent of DRG's (which isn't a bad thing). The latest black cloud on the horizon, of course, is "Obama care" which anyone even remotely familiar with socialized medicine (e.g. Canadian system), or our very own managed healthcare (which isn't bad if managed properly) knows is absolutely inane - it doesn't even look feasible on paper- not withstanding actual implementation. So what am I trying to say? Yes hospitals, like any other company must be fiscally responsible. Yet there IS a nursing shortage. There are an unbelievable number of nursing positions posted on the web sites for the healthcare conglomerates (the Catholic Health Init., Franciscan Health Syst., Multicare Health Syst.)- as in the Puget Sound area- as well as the ,often duplicate, postings on the many job search engines. Jobs are posted, warm bodies are needed to fill those slots, and I know for an absolute fact that nursing units are frequently under staffed which means the quality and safety of nursing care delivered is greatly compromised. I worked overtime and extra to fill those needs over again in the last 20 years. As you know there is no panacea or easy answer. I would be more than happy to work for 40 or 45% less than I received at my last position. As I stated in a previous post the hospitals are bound by the collective bargaining agreement made with the hospital by whatever "Union" with which the entity has the contract. So I can't just "take a lower salary" for a hospital job. I've applied for many others and am still turned down. I left my previous job because of a "med error" and had to resign. This was the first of it's kind in 35 years. So now I am applying for minimum wage jobs-just to pay the bills!