In my 2 years and 5 months at Male Surgery Ward, 8 staff nurses already resigned. From a total of 17 staff nurses, 9 remained to man a 55-bed capacity ward. The hospital administration doesn’t have any plans of hiring new staff nurses even if there are thousands of unemployed nurses across the country. I was one of the lucky applicants who got hired as a regular. The hospital stopped hiring eversince.
Maybe part of the reason is retrogression. Our hospital is the only (I think) private hospital with the highest paying salary in the Philippines. Heck, the orderlies, aides, and other non-professional hospital staffs have only P1k salary difference from us Nurses, and we hold a license, they don’t. Our Nurse Aide’s salary who worked in our hospital for almost 20 years has a higher salary than us Nurses. Again, we hold a license, they don’t.
So what am I complaining about? This unfair work load.
The hospital took some actions, to be fair. But their action is just temporary. They decided to hire casuals, contractuals, employees who will work for 5 months only. They accepted Orientees, Nurses who pay for their “training.” The hospital sure did something to solve the need for more nurses but they placed a heavy burden on us Nurses. Instead of concentrating on our work, we have to supervise the Orientees & the casuals in order to prevent medicaton errors.
When our patient census goes up and we are understaffed, the Nursing Service Office doesn’t give any pullouts (Nurses from other non-toxic wards). When we decided it’s time to work overtime in order to have adequate staffing, the Nursing Service Office prevents us from doing so because, according to them, the hospital is trying to save money.
With the high patient census and lack of Nurses, we do everything to cope up. There’s no quality of care anymore. Our Nurses notes doesn’t have any substance. My strategy is that, prioritize the patient who is on the verge of life and death. If a patient can walk, hey you’re on your own buddy. Don’t ever disturb us Nurses if you see blood backflowing through your IV. You don’t want to face the Nurses wrath. Don’t disturb us nurses if we already explained that you can eat anything then you come running to us asking if the patient can eat rice.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. I love seeing my patients recover. I’ve made many friends. But I’ve also made some enemies, due to my stress from work. But the thing is, I’m not happy with my work situation anymore. The hospital is doing everything to save money. Our tax went up. They even took tax from my salary when my Mom got hospitalized. The hospital is taking taxes on employees from their previous hospitalization. There’s even tax for the Lawyer who fought for our salary increase. Even our supplies became scarce. The hospital doesn’t provide us with gloves and masks anymore. There was even one time when we don’t have any soap to wash our hands with.
Sure, I’ve bought a lot of nice things from my salary. I could even live independently if I want to. But I don’t think I can still work in that kind of situation.
17:1 Patient-Nurse ratio is not ideal. Even 13:1 Patient-Nurse ratio is too much. Ideally it should just be 5-6:1. Welcome to our Hell Hospital where all things are possible. We accept any kind of patient even if they don’t have money because the nurses are the ones who will take all the burden.
This is Hell Hospital run by priests. Go figure.