Friday, August 21, 2015

Floating Away

I was pulled from my quiet office to work on the ward one day last week.  "You don't have any work to do in here," the supervisor explained as she was telling me where to go, over my objections.

I put up with a lot to get into that office position.  I can't lose the position unceremoniously.

How to fight back?

On the ward, I received a vast collection of problems, all created and fostered long before my arrival.  The charge nurse on the ward actually expected me to fix these problems.  Missing medications, transcriptions errors, misfiled documents - "You can't just leave it like this!" the charge nurse exclaimed.

"I'm leaving it exactly as I found it," I countered, which did not please him.  Or the supervisor.

I have work in my office.  One of the more pressing issues was finalizing the operating schedule for the following day.  Oh well.  I wasn't going to do both jobs because that will become my job- floor nurse and schedule nurse for the entire hospital.  This much I know.

The supervisor fielded inquiries and then complaints from the operatory staff when they could not reach me.  Finally she called me on the ward and told me that I needed to take care of the schedule.

"I am not working in that area today," I answered.  I had to not care about the problems resulting from her inability to plan staffing.

"That is because there was no work.  Now there is work, so you need to go and take care of it," she responded, annoyed.

"That work existed this morning when you pulled me.  I informed you of this issue and you said everyone can figure it out without me," I answered back.

"Well, the situation has changed, so you can go back to your office," she said.

"Nothing has changed.  The same tasks that existed this morning are still not done.  I'm not working the floor and the office.  You assigned me to the floor and that is where I stay," I said.

Predictably, the surgical schedule was messed up the next day, resulting in canceled procedures.  The supervisor wanted to know why I let it happen.  "You were the one who pulled me after I explained the effect it would have on the rest of the hospital," I clarified.

"Still, you could help us out on the wards without screwing up things in here," she answered, totally missing her role in any of this mess.

If someone reviews any of this, they aren't going to conclude that I should not be floated out of the office.  They are going to determine that I dropped the ball.

No other nurse is assigned to work on a ward and cover an office at the same time.

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