Monday, October 15, 2012

how to make nurses happy 101

How to make nurses happy:

1) Eliminate rotating shifts.  There is no reason for rotating shifts.  Pay people more money and benefits to work straight off shits.

2) Make sure that nurses get their lunch break and other breaks.  This is not that difficult. It is required by law.  Insist nurses take their breaks.  Everyone needs a break, espescially from this stressful job.

3)  Make it policy that nurses have control over their practice.  If something is going to affect nurses talk to them about their opinion about it.  Nurses are not unwilling to accomodate change, they just want to have a say in it.  They will no doubt have some great ideas.  Eliminate bullshit committees that do nothing.

4) If healthcare is a business, bring in people with business degress at the middle management level.  People who have been to school in how to MANAGE people, hold people accountable.  Promoting nurses to management posiitons, without a business background is a mistake, in my opinion.  They make awful managers. 

5)  Put policies in place that make verbal and physical abuse by patients unacceptable.  Take this so seriously, that the patient who has been medically cleared or is stable is either discharged or transferred to another facility.

6) Put policies in place that are serious about unacceptable behavior  by doctors (or anyone else for that matter). Fire them if it doesn't change.

7) Here's a controversial one: eliminate 10 and 12 hour shifts.  No one should work that long in such a stressful job.  It is unsafe.

8) Pay people with more skills and more responsiblity such as those in critical care more money.  It makes common sense.

9) Allow nurses to take an LOAs, say every five years, for a short time to rest body and soul if they choose to.

10) Pay monetary incentives to nurses around defineable goals. Managers and administrators are not the only people who should get money for achieving goals.

Any thoughts?


CrownedwithVictory said...

Hear, hear! Now how to make this go viral?

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Excellent - every one a great idea that should be policy.

Nurses hold the medical profession together every single day and every night too. Were it not for you we wouldn't be here to write and sing your praises,

Anonymous said...

Nurses may make terrible managers, but I wouldn't wish MBA managers on anyone. You may think they manage people, but they have no practical experience in what they are managing and really don't care about the people. I thing the problem is the type of nurses that become managers and that upper management does not care.

jimbo26 said...

Although this is to do with a family firm in the UK , ' Upside down management ' by John Timpson . He is/was the head of a family firm ( his son now manages it ) , but they give the employees much scope in running it .

Unknown said...

I agree on everything but the 10-12 hour shifts. Maybe it's because I'm only 2.5 years in, but I like the 12 hours because it means I have four days off. My tune might change when I've been nursing longer.

Big Sky RN said...

I've been a nurse for over 30 years and when I started, 8 hours seemed like an eternity in our busy stressed filled ER. Here I am at age 55 and running my ass off doing 10 and 12 hour shifts. This is wrong and not safe at all for me or the patient.In our ER the doctors used to work 12's, then they went to 8 hour shifts and the nurses went to 12's...what the heck!

CNRN said...

I just quit my lead nurse position after 8 years at our city's trauma/transplant center hospital because of many of the reasons listed here. 12 hour shifts are too long, and when you work overnight, and management doesn't understand your workflow, piles more of days' work on you, and then expects you to stay late when it's already 8:00 am, it's unreasonable. We have had a mass exodus of people leaving the last year or so, and there won't be anyone with experience to help the new grads. 8 hour shifts should be the norm, and we should get full time status for 3 or 4 days a week. Many places around here recognize either 24 or 32 hours per week as full time here, I just got one that full time is four 8 hour shifts per week. 5 days is too many to be working this kind of a job and not have a stroke from stress.

JA-RN said...

I've worked 8, 10, & 12-hour shifts during my career. The advantage to the 10-hour shift was a day off during the week. It was great to be able to make appointments & get things done which were impossible after shift otherwise. 12 hours was just too long, especially as an older nurse.

EDNurseasauras said...

I have to add my 2 cents on the 10 and 12 hour shifts. They were great when I was in my 20's and 30's. Heading toward 60 years of age I just cannot do it. It's hard enough to go 8 hours without a break, a meal, or using the bathroom any more than that is downright inhumane. Right now we have only 8 hour shifts in my ER, but our mother ship ER has 8, 10 and 12's with the rest of the hospital working toward 12's alone. This just affects nursing, no other department.

Renee Maynes said...

I wish nursing had more part time opportunities. Not everyone wants to work a 36-40 hour week, but finding a part time job is next to impossible.

Managers should learn to be an umbrella shielding their staff members from the shit that rains down from above. Too many of them are funnels, shooting all the negative crap directly on the front line staff.

girlvet said...


You are in the wrong place. Where I live, rarely does anyone work full time.

Ally said...

Love the one about patients verbally and physically abusing nurses. It sucks that there are pretty much no rules about how the patients act: they can basically do anything with no repercussions, and many of them do.

I don't know how to feel about the shift lengths. I'm 27 years old and love the 12-hour shifts because I love having 4 days off per week; I can't imagine working 5 days per week! For ER shifts it might be okay, but when I'm in the ICU I like the continuity of care that 12 hour shifts bring.

Lizzie LVT said...

Freudian slip in your first post-at the end you said "shits" instead of "shifts'.

I'm looking for a new job because I work 10s and my husband (police) just went from 8 hours set days off to 12 hours with rotating days off. Coordinating daycare is a nightmare. And I work in veterinary medicine! Don't know how you all keep sane, at least I have muzzles and medetomidine.

Rachedy said...

In my state they haven't had rotating shifts and I've worked as a nurse here since 1977. It seems to be a regional thing. If I had to rotate to nights I'd find something else to do.