Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Magnetic

"Have you looked at this?" asked my husband, Mr. Ednurseasauras

"What?", I asked, busy warming my hands in front of the pellet stove.

"This discount card from your hospital. You can go online and print discount coupons and look for deals at a bunch of different stores and restaurants. It says 'Perks Card' ", he said

Like what?", I asked, becoming interested. I hardly ever read anything that comes from my hospital.

"Well, let's see: Dougie's House of Onions, Sally's Books 'n Toasters, Elemental, Lamps, Socket Wrenches and Diapers's, ... and Arby's".

"Big Whoop. I never heard of any of those except for Arby's, and I don't think there's one of those for 50 miles...why would I even bother?"

"I thought you might be pleased since the hospital cut your educational reimbursement by 50% and your shift differential fifty cents an hour", my husband replied, not without a note of sarcasm.

Ah, I thought, he's baiting me.

"OK, I see where you're going with this. For one thing, it is no skin off their teeth if they give discounts to obscure places that nobody ever goes to; in fact, I find it insulting. You can put a turd on bread and call it lunch, but it's still a turd".

"Good analogy".

It's still a big old stinking turd.

I'm still pissed that Scary Catholic Medical Center did both of those things as well as completely cutting the employer contributions to the 401K. These occurred after the Magnet Survey in August


Magnet Recognition is a designation bestowed on any hospital that works hard enough to jump through the necessary hoops. It is given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) , a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA). Magnet Recognition is given to a hospital that "satisfies a set of criteria designed to measure the strength and quality of their nursing. A Magnet hospital is stated to be one where nursing delivers excellent patient outcomes, where nurses have a high level of job satisfaction, and where there is a low staff nurse turnover rate and appropriate grievance resolution. Magnet status is also said to indicate nursing involvement in data collection and decision-making in patient care delivery. The idea is that Magnet nursing leaders value staff nurses, involve them in shaping research-based nursing practice, and encourage and reward them for advancing in nursing practice. Magnet hospitals are supposed to have open communication between nurses and other members of the health care team, and an appropriate personnel mix to attain the best patient outcomes and staff work environment". (From the Center for Nursing Advocacy).

It's a lot of documentation, and sounds like it should be a good thing. I guess it is except that the astute nurse recognizes it as window dressing. Nurses are largely brain washed into into thinking that a Magnet designation is anything other than a marketing tool. Those nurses are then lined up, questioned by the representatives of the ANCC who are convinced that the candidate hospital is the Best in the Entire World in attracting and retaining the World's Best Nurses because the hospital cares deeply and passionately about Nursing Issues.


I was forced by my nurse manager to attend a Magnet Dinner; there were about 12 of us with 4 Magnet Representatives. After we finished rubber lasagna, wilted salad, soggy garlic bread, and soda, the examiners went around the room and asked each of us; where we worked, what projects we were involved in, what educational or leadership expertise the administration had encouraged us to participate in and what UAC's we were involved in.


Let me put it this way; I go to work to earn enough money to pay for my expenses. After 33 years, I feel pretty much as if I've done my time with Unit Advisory Committees. Waste of time. I have all I can do to do my assigned hours, attend an occasional staff meeting, be a mover and shaker behind the scenes and scramble to complete my BSN before I chuck the entire plan and follow my friend Anne into hair dressing. Really. Or learn to play the drums, whatever.

To the Magnet representative I spoke about my years of nursing experience in the ER at various levels from staff to leadership positions, went on at length about completing my nursing education and plan for grad school and ultimately teach nursing in some capacity. I spewed some lie about working on a nursing assessment form that pretty much everyone had worked on as well; I recognized a nice young ER nurse from our mother ship and dragged her under the bus with me as I said, "Erin, you probably had lots of input in that too, didn't you?".

Erin grabbed at the lifeline as she clearly had no UAC commitment either and rambled her own bull shit. I silently flung the bird at my nurse manager for putting me in this position.

Two weeks before the hospital got its Magnet designation, the aforementioned budgetary cuts were made; all affected clinical nurses. While merit raises were cut, no management positions were cut, reduced or eliminated. No administrative positions were eliminated. No administrators took a pay cut. This is a demonstration of how much a Magnet Hospital values its nurses.

Magnet my ass. Use the nurses for gaining some sort of marketing edge and then, in this economy cut tuition reimbursement and pay. Yikes.

I can't wait for the Magnet Peeple to come back, but that will be a few years.

The hospital is, however, required to conduct satisfaction surveys either once a year, or once every two years. They can pretty much depend on me to lower their satisfaction scores.

I just love surveys. The first couple of surveys I completed I complained about the crucifixes in every treatment room; that and the joining of hands, being forced to pray and sing Kumbaya at the conclusion of orientation. I though this was offensive in a facility that seemed to pride itself on cultural diversity. How does this welcome members of other cultures and religions while ramming their ideals down someone else's throat?

Within 2 weeks the crucifixes disappeared. Interesting.

Bring on that Magnet satisfaction survey; unless our tuition reimbursement is fully restored, along with shift differential and merit raises. And, while you're at it Scary Medical Center, fire 50% of your administrators and other dead weight. I want the CEO right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol? *

Me, bitter? Nah.

*Thank you Clark Griswold, although I stole this from Jules.