Thursday, August 25, 2016

Accept It or Leave

One of the newer hires is having a very tough time, very similar to my experiences.  She asked me to witness the conversation with a nursing supervisor.

The nurse mentioned that other nurses arrive late, don’t get shift report, push everything off onto her for the rest of the shift, and then leave early.  Same as my story.

The nursing supervisor pretended to not know any of this.  “You need to put it in writing, otherwise, I can’t do anything about it.”

“Can’t you come by on rounds and see them missing, or in the back on their phones, and say something?” the nurse pleaded.

“I’m too busy!” the supervisor quipped.  “You should go to your union if you have a problem with the people you work with.”

“How is this a union issue?” the nurse asked.  “I’m asking you to manage employees, which is your job as the supervisor, yes?  I’m telling you that certain employees are not pulling their weight and making it very difficult for others to do the job, and you want nothing to do with it.”

“Like I said,” the supervisor continued, “I didn’t know this and without these charges in writing from you, I can’t do anything.”

The nurse shook her head.  “Then I want to transfer to night shift.”

“Put it in writing,” the supervisor said.

The nurse pulled a paper from her pocket.  “Here it is.”

“Oh!” the supervisor gasped.  “I can’t accept this.  You have to bring it to the office and they have to stamp it.  Otherwise, it is as if it never existed.”  She paused.  “And it won’t matter.  I can’t let you go to night shift.  We are short on the day shift.  So you are stuck where you are.”

The nurse was surprised.  “I heard they are short on nights as well,” she tried.

“They are,” the supervisor responded.  “But I’m short, too, and you are part of this shift and are not going anywhere.”

After the supervisor left, the nurse turned to me.  “What am I supposed to do?” she asked.

I felt bad for her.  This was me when I started.  It’s still me.  “You have two options.  You either suck it up or you quit.  These same employees who are dumping all the work and blame on you with the blessing of the supervisor are the same people who did it to me years ago.  Nothing changes.  They will never be responsible and will never be held responsible.  When a good nurse is hired, they abuse her until she is fired or quits.  That is how it’s done here.”

“Okay,” she said softly and walked away.

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