Thursday, June 19, 2014
The position is silly, but I have filled in for it many times. A nurse is not even necessary to perform this job. The nurses on the unit do not arrange for tests or consults by specialists. They send the doctor's order to this office, who then makes the arrangements and notifies the unit of when, where, and how to prep. The people on the other end of the phone are not nurses, as your average person is capable of making an appointment without a nursing degree. But this is the way that this hospital has decided to run things.
The interview was with the Director of Nursing ("DON"), a nurse in administration whose primary task is Making Trouble, and a shift supervisor (not the most Evil Supervisor). The supervisor seemed to want me for the position, as I am the most organized and thorough nurse on the staff. (I have little competition in that skill set.)
The Director of Nursing sought to prove how ignorant and stupid she is. She asked, "What skills would you bring to this department, if you are transferred there?"
I replied, "I am highly organized and efficient."
DON said, "You need to know how to use Electronic Medical Records for this position. Have you ever worked on a computer?"
Me: "This hospital does not utilize Electronic Medical Records in any department and yes, I am skilled in computer use."
DON said, "Well, you need to use a computer to make appointments. Are you saying that you think you are capable of doing that?"
Me: "We make appointments on the phone and then hand-write the information and physically bring it to the ward where the patient is staying."
DON: "You see, I did not know any of this. I really don't know what you would be doing in that department."
At some point, the DON decided to add that "Knowledge of medical problems" is necessary for this position. "How would you be able to make appointments if you have no experience taking care of sick people?"
I pointed out that the patients who need appointments for their medical problems are the same patients that I physically care for as a floor nurse. I also worked in nursing homes for years, admitting patients straight out of the ICU, with tubes everywhere and dozens of medications by many routes- all without a doctor on the premises.
DON: "How could they send such a sick person to a nursing home? Why don't they keep them in the hospital?"
Me: "Under the current reimbursement structure, people can only stay at the hospital for the number of days proscribed based on the illness. People who still need care are transferred to nursing homes, if their insurance covers it."
DON: "You see, I did not know any of this. Nobody ever told me. I thought that nursing homes were places that people went to die. I never knew that sick people stayed in nursing homes. I am going to have to look into this."
Trouble Maker kept going back to her phrase, "How you are perceived by the other people who work here." For example, "How do you expect to convey information to a particular ward, given the way the staff perceives you?"
Trouble Maker herself is despised throughout the hospital and is cited as the instigator in many suspensions (quite rare nowadays, though). She has some nerve pointing out that some people don't like me- the same people who also do not like her.
After the other two had concluded their questions, the DON returned to her original question: "You said that the skill that you could bring to the department is that you are organized. I am confused. You mean you are organized on the computer?"
"Sure," I answered, wondering how someone so obviously clueless could work as the director of anything.
The DON then pointed to a blank area at the top of the paper she was writing on for the entire interview. "You see, I have to put an answer to each of these questions for every person we interview. The first question is still blank for you. I need to write what skills you have that would be useful to the department."
"Organization and efficiency," I replied.
"But you need to know how to work a computer," she replied, like a little child, explaining disappointment but acceptance over not getting a desired toy.
"I do," I answered. The fate of my employment rests in the hands of this idiot who considers computers some mystical, untenable concept.
Imagine how much could get done if the people who won't go near a computer were replaced by people who worked on computers.
"You can write that I know computers," I told the DON.
She hesitated, but wrote the word, then issued me caution. "I'll write that you can work a computer, but if you don't know, well, I don't know. I don't know how you will learn. But I guess that's not my problem."