wound care specialist, the Director was secretly meeting with some important people to plan her departure from the hospital. This was to remain a secret until her official announcement a few weeks later. This is why the union rep became so angry and accused me of lying when I said that the Director's secretary said she wasn't in the office. It was quite a coincidence because I rarely called the Director and she rarely budged from her office.]
I had a little meeting with the Director of Nursing. A union person was present when I arrived- I had not sought one out. I think that the union is on the side of the hospital and not mine.
The director gave me a description of my "job duties," as she called it. She printed it off the internet from an article titled, "What do nurses do?"
I sought clarification about my specific tasks and who is my boss. "People from all over the hospital- different departments, different titles- call daily and order me to do random tasks. I can't tell anyone to do anything, but it seems that everyone is my boss and every job is my responsibility."
"Well," she sighed, "Your daily duties will differ from that printout as necessity warrants."
I asked why she wrote in an email that I am not permitted to give direct patient care.
The union rep started panting and rolling her eyes. "We have a HIPAA issue here. You can't go around the hospital, sticking your nose into patients' charts. Really, you violate the HIPAA rights of patients when you monitor wounds."
"HIPAA rights? I work here, and going through charts and following up on the cases of my assigned doctors my main job responsibility. What about the patient's right to medical treatment? The right for wounds to heal instead of worsening?" I was pissed. She actually thinks that the ward nurses who did not tend to the patient are right, while I am wrong for privacy violations?
The director had lost interest and was playing Candy Crush on her phone. I stared at her for a moment to see if she had any more interest in me or the worsening wounds, but she didn't look up.
The union rep said, "We settled this issue, that you can work with the doctors assigned to your office, but you CANNOT be on a ward or helping a patient at any other time. Yet you just had to re-hash the issue, trying to get the medical director to let you violate more patient rights."
"The wound care doctor did all that, not me," I said. "He spoke to the medical director, not me. I called into this office to speak with the Director of Nursing, but the secretary said she wasn't here."
"Of course she was here that day!" the union rep blurted, angry. "When the medical director came to us that same day and told us that you needed to resume wound monitoring, our first thought was, 'Why the hell didn't she come to us first?' You report to nursing, not medical."
The union rep stared at me. The Director of Nursing continued fingering her phone.
I got up and left.