There's an old joke about a nurse who is retiring. "What?", she's asked. "Are yo tired of doing the job of two people?"
It doesn't seem so funny to me now. My unit is now so understaffed that we have only 45% of the nurses, techs, and unit secretaries required to properly care for our average daily census of 21 patients. We have been averaging 25-30 patients. As a result, the entire staff has been working both voluntary and mandatory overtime. There's been a lot of discussion on the web about nursing unions, notably at http://disappearingjohn.blogspot.com, but I feel sure that if my hospital were unionized this problem would not be occurring. Not all nursing staff are so fortunate as to have an administration who truly care about them as John seems to. The rest of us are left at the mercy of hospitals who care more about the almighty dollar, whether they be for profit or not for profit, than they do about patient safety or staff recruitment and retention. That's enough. For now, good night.
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