It’s time for another union update.
We know there are continuing problems with staffing. As of the meeting last month with management, incentives and contracts were to be continued (except for double SIP). Agency nurses are also being utilized throughout the hospital system. Management was made aware staff are having issues locating and applying for jobs in Oracle. There is a new Oracle rep assigned to the hospital who will hopefully be able to make the program more user friendly.
There are several vacant positions in PCU right now, which makes it difficult to staff the units. The staffing grids allow for a nurse in this unit to take five patients. To help make the assignments safer/fair, please be flexible as to which rooms belong in a certain assignment. They are not concrete and set on room numbers. This will allow for a fair distribution of acuity, admissions, and discharges. If you feel your assignment is unsafe, please do not hesitate to question the assignment and ARCC it up to management in real time.
As always, we are reading and reviewing all staffing forms. We thank you for filling them out, as otherwise we would not know what is going on outside our own departments. Staffing forms can be filled out for any staffing issue. Some examples are no aide, no secretary, high acuity, short nursing staff, no transporters and or any issue that makes you staffed unsafely for your shift. When filling out a form, only the writer’s name should appear on the form. Do not place your coworkers’ name on the form unless they have expressed consent to do so. Also, please include a brief explanation of the problem and your last name in case we need to reach out to clarify anything.
Moving on from staffing issues, administration expressed sincere gratitude and admiration to our dialysis nurses. Inspira has officially become affiliated with Salem Hospital, and our awesome dialysis nurses seamlessly took on Salem patients while already juggling patients from three Inspira campuses. Great job!
Please make sure you are entering your dirty beds in real time. This will hopefully help with housekeeping times and from floors being slammed with admissions all at once. There will be some kind of monitoring system being put in place soon which will track the time of the discharge order to the time of actual discharge. Yes, there are many times that patients cannot leave immediately, and everyone is aware of that. For patients who would qualify, there is renewed efforts being put into a discharge lounge. We will keep you updated with any further information we receive about that.
The final thing I have for you is regarding stretchers and wheelchairs. New wheelchairs are scheduled to be purchased. I believe they will be the same style as we have now. Once the wheelchairs have been replenished, they will start working on replacing/repairing stretchers. We have been requested to notify maintenance of broken stretchers. I am aware of how difficult that is since they are never in one place very long, and they are almost all broken, but please do what you can.
I hope you all are having a great start to your summer. Please reach out to one of our union reps if you ever have any questions/concerns. We are here to help!
Jeanie Harow, RN Vineland PACU