Miami Herald

Nurse fears back­lash if she raises con­cerns

- JEANNE PHILLIPS Con­tact Dear Abby at www. DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. Health · Alabama

Dear Abby: I have been a nurse for 10 years and love tak­ing care of my pa­tients. I have worked at a mid­size hos­pi­tal for 2 1/2 years.

Since I started work­ing here, we have been as­signed six or seven pa­tients at a time, al­though I was told when I was hired they were go­ing to hire enough nurses to have a 4-to-1 ra­tio. It not only hasn’t hap­pened, but the ad­min­is­tra­tion keeps piling on pa­per­work for the nurses to com­plete.

I have anx­i­ety, and this is about to cause me to break. I love my job, and I don’t want to leave. I just wish they would be more con­sid­er­ate of their nurses in­stead of mak­ing them feel like I do right now, which is want­ing to find some­thing else.

Should I say some­thing to my charge nurse about how I’m feel­ing? I’m afraid if I do, I’ll be pushed out of this job. Adding to my anx­i­ety is that my daugh­ter now works at the same fa­cil­ity, and I’m afraid if I say any­thing they will pun­ish her. Please of­fer me your ad­vice. — Anx­ious R.N. in Alabama

Dear Anx­ious R.N.: You should ad­dress it with your charge nurse. It’s the truth. Be­cause the pan­demic has in­creased the work­load on all med­i­cal care­givers, you are far from alone in feel­ing over­whelmed.

When you speak up, do not couch it in terms of the fact that your em­ploy­ers haven’t fol­lowed through on their prom­ises. Do it strictly in terms of the ef­fect it is hav­ing on you. I doubt you will be fired, be­cause ex­pe­ri­enced nurses are in such high de­mand right now. How­ever, if you are let go and your daugh­ter is ques­tioned about it, all she should say is that the work­load and the stress be­came too much for YOU. Speak­ing your truth should be no re­flec­tion on her.

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