I haven’t used the blog as a soapbox yet but I think today
I might climb up and have a rant. I ran out of energy two days ago when I had the idea but today it’s all the same professional issues and I have some left over “miffed” so I think perhaps I shall.
Do more faster with less resources. Oh and spend millions on a consultant to tell us how the automotive industry would do this. Yes and that’s why it’s so well suited to health care and saving peoples lives –NOT! The concept is good; removing excess from the system and streamlining processes but the reality is that they don’t listen to the front line workers who have experience. They (the lean process team) come in for their RPIW (Rapid process improvement week) in their colour co-ordinated shirts, timers and clip boards with their “metrix” set. They know what the problem is and they set out to solve it. REALLY? They didn’t ask any of us what the real problems are before they figured them out. Seems totally ass backwards that a random group of non medical people would know what the issue it. I spent 5 days doing an RPIW about the inefficiency of the trauma orthopaedic operating room — let’s start with a negative connotation and improve from there seemed to be the mind set. A year later there are no improvements in how long it takes a non emergency orthopaedic trauma case to get into the operating threatre because it wasn’t the nickel and dime minutes that is causing a back log. I could go on and on about that issue as that is where I spend my days and we work hard. Really hard trying to get in as many cases a day as is possible because there are always always patients waiting.
During one RPIW “they” found the missing stash of pillows and so it would all be solved. You have no idea how many times a day we have to go searching for pillows and blood pressure cuffs. Basic items. The hospital I work at is literally falling apart at the seams. The plumbing issues are atrocious. The number one way to reduce infections is by washing your hands with warm water and soap. In the operating room we have no warm water — only ICE COLD as there is some issue somewhere that the plumbers can’t fix or find. I’ll tell you if they spent as much on fixing the plumbing as they have on the campaign for the current influenza vaccination and subsequent masks for non compliant family and staff to wear it would all work. The electrical issues aren’t far behind and have shut down our operating rooms a couple of times as has ongoing floor issues. Literally the floors are decaying.
But let’s build a brand new children hospital right next door. I wonder how many people realize that there are more adult beds than paediatric beds in that building. There wasn’t room to put in an X-ray department so just transport those children back over for every MRI, CT and Xray that they need. That was such a political decision to build that building while the other hospital across the bridge sits under utilized.
I have spent 35 years as a registered nurse and I am proud of my profession. We all try to put our patients first. This week though I also did the housekeeping job regularly, portered patients, picked supplies for our cases all while educating a new staff member. I am quite entitled to feel as tired and drained as I do tonight. But I’m also cranky that we have to make do with less. No overtime for any positions and an amazing amount of sick time. I briefly thought about taking a mental health day today but I didn’t. I went to work and gave 110% because that is what I do. I didn’t write this post so that people would say “you’re such a good nurse” but rather because I wanted them to hear from me what it is like as a front line professional today in health care. We shouldn’t make do when we are talking about people’s lives.
I usually just hit post after spell checking and no one edits for me. I ran this post by my better half as he is more analytical and less emotionally involved. He felt it was ok to publish and even suggested a letter to the editor might be in order. I am going to ‘let go’of this now for the weekend and go enjoy my dessert club friends tonight and some family time Sunday. The rant here has released my frustrations. Oh and image all this in the Rick Mercer style with the rotating camera angles while walking down a hospital hall way — or at least that’s how I played it out in my head.