Nurse fears backlash if she raises concerns
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.