Thursday, October 20, 2016

And Peace for All

One of the doctors loves this combination of injections to calm a person down:  diphenhydramine (Benedryl), lorazepam (Ativan), and haloperidol (Haldol).

But he doubles the doses of haloperidol and diphenhydramine as seen in the picture.

One person can throw an entire floor into chaos.  It's nice to work with someone who wants to help everyone relax.  Not all doctors will medicate a person who is out of control, forcing the entire ward to ride out the storm.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Union of Sheeple

Just in case you didn't think that the union was in cahoots with administration:

Urgent meeting called by the union.

The hospital wants to change our health insurance.  Without hearing anything further, I guessed that the "new" plan will cost the hospital less and the employees more.

The union rep said, "It's a pretty good plan and it will actually cost us less per paycheck than the current one."

"We have a good plan, one of the only good things about working here," I offered.  "How much less does the new plan cost us?"

The union rep flopped around and finally came up with a number:  $20 less per paycheck.

"Doesn't the 'new' plan have an annual one thousand dollar deductible before paying anything, including routine office visits from in-network doctors?" I asked.

"Well, yes," the union rep said.  "But the current plan also has deductibles."

"Not for in-network providers," I replied.  "You only pay a deductible when you go to someone who is not in the plan."

"Well, it's still a savings," the union rep continued.

"No, it is not," I asserted.  "We have 26 paychecks per year.  Multiply that by $20, and you save $520 in premiums.  But then you have to offset that against the new thousand dollar deductible and the higher office copays.  This new plan will cost us more."

The union rep was growing angry.  "All I know is that I cannot afford to have any more money taken out of my paycheck."  The sheeple nodded their heads.  Some glared at me.  "We HAVE to vote yes in this situation," she stated.

She probably made a side deal with administration to get the union to say okay to the new plan.

Her salary is also at least $30,000 more per year than mine as specified in the union contract she helped draft.

Monday, October 10, 2016

How to Undermine Performance

This article about a student's nightmare internship details some of the same attacks that are used at my job.

1-  The supervisor said that she had never seen the intern do any work.  The implication is that the intern does no work.  When the intern pressed the supervisor to explain, she denied any wrongdoing, explaining that she had never seen her work with a client because she never observed her in the private counseling room and had no intentions of doing so.

People do this at my job all the time.  They report, "I did not see So-and-So doing that" to convey that the task was not done.  When confronted, they will justify the answer with "I was not in the room when you did that, so I did not see you."  However, when spreading rumors, not being in the room and not witnessing an act does not disqualify someone from asserting its truthfulness.

The other shade of this technique is to say, "I don't know where So-and-So is," implying that the person is missing from an assigned work station without permission.  When confronted, the instigator will reply, "I know you said you were escorting a patient.  But I was not with you, so how would I know where you were?"  And no, they can't say, "So-and-So left ten minutes ago to escort a patient."  They have to make trouble.

2-  The supervisor accused the intern of not being successful in patient care.  When the intern showed evidence of her effectiveness, the supervisor explained that any success was do to the intern's improper behavior with clients and not because she is a good therapist.

At my job, other employees get upset and angry if they see that I have a positive rapport with patients.  They accuse me of buying cooperation from patients with money, gifts, or flirtation.  They can't accept that treating patients as human beings would positively impact behavior.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Owning Overtime

In case I had any hopes that the union for nurses could ever be on my side, that is gone.

On Friday afternoon, a supervisor asked me to work the weekend for overtime on the floor.  "Nurse Megan has been out sick all week.  She usually covers this weekend, but I haven't heard from her yet, and I don't want to be short."

I asked, "What if she shows up?  Do I go home without pay?"

"No, I'll just move you somewhere else where it's wild," the supervisor said.  (Not that her guarantee of today would exist tomorrow.)

I came in Saturday and worked the shift without Nurse Megan appearing.  As the shift neared its end, the supervisor told me that Nurse Megan called, upset that her overtime shift was given away, and demanded that she work tomorrow.  "So I don't need you tomorrow," the supervisor commanded.

On Monday, we had a nurses' union meeting.  The people who take $50 out of my paycheck in return for . . . nothing.

Nurse Megan made an appearance and declared, while glaring at me, that her overtime was taken away and she wanted to file a complaint against the supervisor who did it.

There were gasps in the room.  Some people offered pity, others angrily demanded to know the name of the supervisor who did this.

"Megan, I worked Saturday because we didn't know if you were going to show up or not because you had called out sick all week.  The supervisor said she would keep both of us if you came into work, but you didn't.  She then took my overtime away for Sunday because you said you wanted it," I explained to the unsympathetic crowd.

"I was not sick!" Megan snapped, annoyed.

"Oh, that's what the supervisor told me," I explained.  I recalled that she had been out all week.

"I called out sick, but I was not sick.  I had things to do.  I have a life, you know," Megan hissed, rolling her eyes like an annoyed teenager.

"Of course we'll file a complaint for you!" the union rep chimed in.  "We protect the rights of our nurses."

"I'd like to file a complaint, too," I chimed in.  The group turned and stared at me.  "My overtime for Sunday was taken away."

"It wasn't YOUR overtime," Megan yelled.  "You don't own overtime."

"But you do," I said to Megan.

"Yes.  I've been working overtime since before you ever started working here, so it is mine and not yours," Megan quipped.

"Okay, so Megan," the union rep interjected, "We'll file a complaint for you to be paid for the shift that was taken from you at the overtime rate of time and a half, plus ask for double as a penalty for giving the shift away to Nurse Enid."

"You want the hospital sanctioned for giving me overtime?  I'm also a nurse that you represent," I admonished.

"Well, they were wrong," the union rep answered.  "We can't make demands without stating the facts, so we have to give the name of the nurse who took the overtime, and that was you.  There are rules."

"What rule says that you get paid for not working a shift that you are not scheduled to work?"  The union rep didn't answer, so I continued, "There is a rule that says that sick days can only be used for illness, not running errands."

"We are all on the same team here," the union rep said.

"And what is my position?" I asked.  "Odd man out?"

So I left.  But first I went over to the refreshment table and placed a bunch of bagels and cookies in a bag and carried it out.  Breakfast for a week, but still not a recoup of the $50 from this paycheck.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Job Interview

Job interview!

On the telephone.  Saved me from having to take a day off for nothing.

I locked myself in a bathroom for the interview.  Not the best environment, but there is no other private spot.

I was offered this rare interview because a friend put a word in for me at the insurance company where he works.  They were looking for nurse case managers for accident claims.

So I described my job as similar to case management, which it is.  It can be a lot of things, but this company needed to hear about my case management experience, so that is what I highlighted.

The deal breaker was this question:  "So why did you pick our insurance company to work for?"

Umm, my friend arranged for this telephone interview and that is how I "picked" you.  But I could not answer like that.  So I said I was looking for a more professional environment to expand my skills and that my friend said the atmosphere of this insurance company was what I was looking for.

Not good enough.  The interviewer, who was not a nurse by the way, wanted to know why I chose this particular insurance company over the other insurance companies in the state.

I didn't have a better answer.  I don't know how any of them treat their employees.  They probably all pay around the same amount and provide the same crappy health insurance.  There aren't a lot of choices for job seekers.  Most applications fall into a black hole.  Every insurance company in the state does not call me to interview.  Actually, this was the first ever.

At least the company sent a follow-up email stating that I did not get the job.

Update from a Retiree

An retired orderly visited the hospital.  He worked at the hospital for over thirty years and left a few months ago.

"Best thing I ever did," he said about leaving the hospital.  "I did not realize how stressful this place was, and all because of sheer nonsense."

We saw this theme before when I bumped into a social worker who quit.  She wasn't old enough to retire and collect a pension or social security, so she took a lower paying job with fewer perks just to escape.

I keep telling myself that it's not that bad.  There are paychecks and health insurance and paid time off.

It's the accusations and pettiness that gets me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Delusions of Grandeur

Someone barged into my little section of the hospital and screamed at my supervisor for talking about her behind her back.  Talking about people is a common accusation and pastime around here.

My supervisor has a sharp tongue when she wants to.  She replied, "I called CNN about you, but they said that you aren't important and nobody cares."

The person stormed off.