My ER is changing. It is changing like all of medicine is changing. I have been a nurse a long time. Things were different when I started. It wasn't a corporate run environment back then. There was more of a kumbiyah feeling.
Now it is a business. Plain and simple. Its hard to adjust to the idea that medical care can be a business, but there it is, whether we like it or not.
The thing is nurses haven't adjusted to this new environment. We want things to go back to what they used to be. To a time when we had more time with our patients, where things weren't so complicated. The thing is thats not going to happen. We will have less time with our patients and things will get more complicated.
In my ER, like most ERs these days, the bottom line is volume, patient satisfaction, in other words, money. I'm not saying we don't do great patient care, we do, but doing great patient care means nothing if nobody comes, they aren't happy and the bills don't get paid. Its reality.
I see our doc group adjusting. They are expanding their business to other ERs, improving their skills, trying to make the patients happy so they will come back. They get monetary incentives to see more patients. Everything they do, efficiency wise, is tracked. They are adjusting to the new environment and trying to thrive within it.
There is a lot of talk in our ER among the non doc staff about how they docs don't really care about anything but themselves. They only care about making money. People think they treat us like task monkeys.
My thoughts: Docs have recognized that in this corporate healthcare environment, they have to look out for themselves. Nobody else will. Nurses don't recognize that, at their own peril. Nurse are definitely more than task monkeys, they are the cornerstone of the healthcare environment. IF we as a group don't start changing, promoting our profession, taking care of our own interests in this business environment, we will be gone, replaced by task monkeys.
We have to recognize that don't DESERVE anything, we have to prove our worth, change with the times, embrace change, help to create it. The question is: Do nurses care enough about our profession to save it?