Thursday, July 04, 2013
Hello sparkpals. Just got home from a 12hour shift and instead of a rant I would just like to ask 2 questions.
1). With the present employment climate for us "employees", what is your take on the job
now as opposed to your work say 20 years ago. Better? Worse? Easier? or Harder?
In the present work climate?
2). Do you think that living with a significant other, husband, or wife has made a positive
difference in your ability to make ends meet and survive the work world?
Just wondering if being single without much of a support system should make any
difference in one's ability to deal with work? Thanks, Keith
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Answer to question 1 = worse
Answer to question = yes -- it's easier to make ends meet with a spouse -- although, I still contribute as much as I can...
1419 days ago
Your right! Isn't Joyfocus's response is truly amazing!
1419 days ago
Comment edited on: 7/4/2013 3:45:20 PM
I just stopped by to see how you are doing as usual and was blown away by the response by Joyfocus! Not only can this woman write -- but she zoned right in on all the things my nursing friends have talked about.
I am glad you're feeling alright today. Very educational and enlightening blog today. Great responses!
1420 days ago
1) I started out in critical care in 1996, fresh out of school. The hospital was a level 2, we did hearts, did a lot of things by hand which nowadays are done with devices and computers. We did total care, and patient load could go up to three, but it was based on rationally calculated acuity; people were on call for when the acuity level/pt load met the criteria. Visiting hours were ironclad. All charting was on paper. There were 8 paid holidays a year, including your birthday.You got time and a half for working a Federally recognized holiday. Insurance was free for the employee and not super-expensive for your family. There was a 401K, with matching. There was always a unit secretary, and housekeeping ran with a full crew. The hospital ran its own laundry. Nursing supervisor ran the house at night. It was a very difficult job.
The job I just left was also designated level 2, hearts went to a specialized CVR unit, dialysis was done by nurses who brought the machines to the ICU and did the whole process. Just about everything was done through the computer, including charting. Ratio was almost always 3:1, with much less regard for acuity. Total care, following Core Measures and giving more meds which didn't exist back in the day, lots more isolation procedures to cope with resistant infections that have emerged over the past few years. More scans, more tests. More documentation than ever before. Visiting policy was a total mess and inconsistent, with more emphasis on keeping family members happy and providing "good customer service" than there was on allowing us to do our jobs. There were 4 holidays a year, and you only got time and a half for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Insurance was expensive for the employee and hella expensive for family. There was a 401K, but no matching. Housekeeping staff and unit secretaries were cut to bare bones, which means that in addition to doing nursing tasks, we had to do a great deal of those jobs too. Laundry was sent out, and if you ran through what the unit was allotted during the night, you had to hope a security guard would be willing to go down to bring up a bundle. Sometimes they weren't available and you had to start begging other areas. Nursing supervisor frequently had patients of her or his own.
So yes, the climate has changed. Technology has increased. The work is more complex, the benefits smaller, and reimbursement is tied to "customer satisfaction" as well as outcomes. Those outcomes are also being monitored with a fine-tooth comb, with attendant documentation required. There is also no "nursing shortage." There is a nursing HIRING shortage. Nurses are the biggest expenditure of the hospital, which makes us a big target for cost cutting. Cost cutting also has killed our support services, which impacts the job in ways that are hidden to the public, but far too obvious to the ones who are trying to take care of the patients. You know, the people who are trusting us because they are sick.
2) Friends can get you through times without a partner better than a partner can get you through times without friends. A significant other who is not worth a damn is worse than being alone. A significant other who has got your back no matter what is priceless. Either way, one person can't give you all the support you need. A support system is vital, hopefully wide enough to give you plenty of hands but deep enough to weather a long-term situation. It has to be consciously cultivated, carefully tended. Especially as we are getting older, it doesn't happen easily. In college, I could blink and find friends; busy and middle-aged, it takes a lot of work, and it doesn't happen overnight. A good-quality friend can help you find a job, a place to live, or keep you from losing your mind. You need a wide variety of acquaintance to build an ecosystem of support. Good people with good lives are out there, willing to include you in those good lives, but it takes a lot of time and effort to find them. A rescue effort is not a friend, remember that. But sometimes friends have needs; I suppose the difference is that helping a friend gives one satisfaction even when it's hard, while a rescue project is just one obligation after another. Don't be a rescue project, bring something to the table, and don't let other people drain you.
Wow, this got long! But you had two good questions, and I wanted to give you a good answer, from my perspective. Our lives are not the same, but you are asking questions that I have asked myself.
1420 days ago
I also work in health care (PT) for around 16 yrs (pediatrics) I work in a school setting.
1. I never EVER worried about my job security.
In the 2011/2012 school yr I was put on part-time (32 hrs/4 days per week). I was floored. I didn't see it coming. This meant, besides cut hours, I only got personal health insurance, not family. Because I have a husband and at the time dependent daughter it was hard on my family.
To answer your family vs. single: Had I been single it would have been an easier situation and less stress. Money loss, for me, is easier to remedy than insurance loss.
Luckily, I was able to get a 1 day a week contract job.
I think the job climate is worse than it was 20 yrs ago even 10 yrs ago. My husband worked in IT and it hit his job in 2003 or 04. It wasn't until around 2009 that it hit education pretty bad.
2. Having a SO or husband/wife has made a positive difference on my life. It's a lifestyle I like and one that we planned for. If you're single, you plan for self-reliance.
I worked with someone who is dedicated single. I don't see any impact (monetary or otherwise) on her job. If anything single people don't come with obligations and the extra insurance package. I think they're cheaper & tend to miss less days (due to child illnesses).
1420 days ago
Comment edited on: 7/4/2013 11:32:56 AM
The " climate" of course has changed, in some ways easier,....technology, in some ways harder...when technology fails. It is the new generation employee that is the most difficult.
Being single, has no bearing whatsoever.
1420 days ago
All I know is, the work environment these days is a LOT tougher compared to previous decades. Now, job hopping is the norm! At least in Malaysia.
It's now the Employers' market, not the Employee's market!
1420 days ago
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