Monday, October 13, 2008

Can't we all just get along

Since starting my job as a resource nurse and being all over my hospital I've seen lots of things from basically all prospectives.  I was never one that fell into that whole dept against dept thing anyway but now it annoys me even more.  Aren't we all here for the patients instead of to be against each other?

The other night I spent 7 of my 10 hour shift working in the ER due to them being so short staffed and so busy.  The only dinner they got was the tray of day old sandwiches, chips and coffee I got them from the cafeteria as no one had a chance to go to the bathroom never mind get food.  As I'm in the cafeteria I hear a tele nurse say something to the effect of "the ER needs to quit whining."  

I so wanted to say something to defend them as I knew firsthand how busy they were.    Ambulance after ambulance pulling up, multiple stabbings, chest pains, an acute MI, etc, etc.  But then I got to thinking of the nights that the tele floor gets 6 admissions from the ER in an 8 hour shift and they bring them up one after another without enough time to get the first one settled in and the next one is arriving.  I've been up on the tele floor helping them when this happens and overheard the ER later saying something about the tele floor nurses whining too.  

And it's certainly not just the tele floor...ICU was giving the ER a hard time the last night I worked too.  It's all around.  Basically on every floor.  No one understands what the other floors go through.  The floors don't understand that the ER cannot refuse ambulances and have to find room for them when they arrive.  And the ER doesn't understand that the floors have 6-9 patients apiece that includes confused, busy, rude, heavy, etc patients and their family members.

So, again I ask..........aren't we all here for the patient?  And can we all not just get along?



Your absolutely right! Unfortunately there's a hierarchy in every occupation, every walk of life. Someone will always think they are better than you, works harder than you, earns more than you and so on. While there are a group of people of together there will always be B.S. The lowest in the hierarchy in a hospital is the patient. They are the most vulnerable, helpless, and disempowered. When there is discord with the medical staff it filters down onto the patients. You have empathy, and you care. That's what really matters.

travelicurn said...

My theory about why we can't all just get along goes something like this: every specialty area judges the performance of other specialty areas based on their own specialty (did that make sense??). I guess another way of saying this is that we all think that the way we practice nursing is the best way and we don't understand why everyone doesn't do it that way. I'm not sure what the answer to this problem is. I think that walking in the shoes of other nurses would be extremely helpful but I don't ever see that happening. I have found that the nurses who do work in 2 different areas tend to be much less judgemental! In answer to your last question about what are we all here for? I think that patient centered medical/nursing care is a thing of the past. I recently overheard a new ED nurse talking about another hospital's new emergency department. She was listing all of the ammenities-a tv in every room, private rooms, etc. She ended her observation about how wonderful this hospital's ED was by stating "and it's so big that there are tons of places you can hide from your patients!" Just one example of the prevailing mentality I've had the pleasure of witnessing amongst our newest members to the profession in recent years.

Anonymous said...

I think much of the problem stems from insufficient staffing and from wastful useless computer documentation relating to nursing care plans that add nothing to improved patient care. Also I think some of the problem of different areas not getting along might occur because as a patient moves from ICU to the floor or ER to telemetry, or whatever, there is not a fluid means of transition.
Forms of documentation change, a whole new set of orders need to reviewed and transcribed. I think it would be helpful if areas that experienced a lot of transfer back and forth had a requirement that the staff of each area had to work 2 weeks out of every 2 months in the other area. That's my 2 cents

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