Last week, it was a beautiful Sunday and I sat out and enjoyed the sunshine and animals in my garden. I took a lot of pictures and it was my intent to post them this morning. I am not up to it. This morning is grey and humid with pending storms all day. It matches my feelings perfect. I have never been a person who stays depressed for long, but lately, I cannot get out my funk. And the cause is my job. Last week was bad news after bad news. It is so hard to be positive when you are trapped in an environment of … I am not sure if I have the word, but YUCK will do.
To start with, the building I worked in is filthy, suffocating and inadequate. We out grew it five years ago. It was a retail building with high ceilings. They added the second floor, and then added ventilation, which has not worked well since they put it in. It was 90 in some areas last week. Everyone has fans running. Because my office is not an office, but alcove that was sequestered off with cabinets, there is no air. NONE. I currently have four fans running in my office and I call it the wind tunnel. There are three small desk type fans and one floor fan. Within an hour of being in my office, I have a headache from the constant dust being blown in my face coupled with the mold that is everywhere.
The added air conditioner is located on the roof over one of the training rooms and it broke. It was leaking so bad that is was coming through the ceiling in the hallway upstairs. It has been like this all summer. The humidity coupled with the water dripping makes it like we work in a plastic bag. The training room was so hot, brand new orientees were getting sick in orientation last week. You have to yell in the room because we have a large fan in there and the broken air conditioning unit was cycling off and on every two minutes. We all have had hopes that this was not going to be forever because they, the Med Center and our Admin, where looking for a new building. They had a site and even drew up plans. I got to design the training facility. Well, that fell through and we were all told on Monday. It was going to cost too much and there was no money. The agency has already lost 1.2 million dollars for the first quarter.
Last week, I had a terrible thing happen to me. This building was not set up for the number of folks who work there. It was at one time a car showroom. Ten toilets total in the whole building. All but two are on opposite side of the building. Two of them are right by my “office.” EVERYONE now wants to use these two. When I first started, we only had five men in the building. Now there are many more and they have to use these two. And they think they are their private reading rooms. I had a situation where all of a sudden, I knew I was in need. I raced down to the private ones and they were both filled. So I had to “run” to the other side of the building. I cannot walk somedays let alone run. Well, I did not make it. I messed really bad all over the bathroom and myself. My medication makes me have a huge issue with explosive poop. I won’t share all the details but someone did come in and saw the mess, which I cleaned up. Even now I am so embarrassed and traumatized by this. Now I panic every time I have to go to the bathroom. You cannot believe how stressful this is.
Monday was the start of a fantastic new staff member on my team. She rounds out a position that was not replaced when I promoted the nurse in the Lead Preceptor position to Nurse Educator. The new Preceptor is wonderful and I have been fighting to get her in my department for eight months. Clinical wanted her under their rule. My boss finally won the battle but there is more to this. She was doing great for her first week. Then on Thursday night, I get a text from her that she has been in a car accident and was going to the hospital. I texted with her through the evening. She will be fine, but she was pretty banged up and sore the next two days. I am hoping she will not have on going problems since she hit her head and they said she has a concussion. She tried to work on Friday but was still dazed and dizzy.
On Tuesday, my boss was pissed because of an issue with a committee I co-lead. I felt betrayed because someone I felt close to had gone to her and complained about a situation and fueled this big mess. It was so not necessary. But I got the brunt of it and I was hurt this person did this.
We have this pompous ass who is our VP of Clinical. He thinks he is running the agency. He wants control of everything, especially education. I liked him when he first started under three years ago. But then he systematically got rid of people who have been with the agency a long time. One director who reported to him directly was termed after 31 years. He pushed for another director to be removed who had 42 years. She did something stupid and that was his ticket to remove her. He has ostracized me from whatever he can. I have been telling my boss about stuff he has done to the Education team since he began. Well, something came up and I do not know what, but there was this big initiative to make an allegiance between clinical, quality and education.
She told me that she finally saw how I have been treated and ostracized. I have only been complaining about it for the last three years. And since nothing ever was done about it, I pulled back and focused on my new responsibility of the Aide training program. Meanwhile, I was being left out from many committees and projects. There is way more to this but the result was this pact was drawn up by the administrators of the departments and had the attention of the CEO. Why now, I ask myself. Because I think the VP of clinical was trying to get rid of me. He wants in the worse way to put education under his darling quality director, who he just promoted last year. This is a whole other WTF situation. But something happened that I do not know what it was but my empathetic feelings are that he had a rope for me.
Well, nothing has changed except I did get my preceptor. So Thursday, my boss drafted this email that I had to send out that was sort of humiliating. It stated that Education needed to partner with people and that the directors that the email went to were to include Education in their projects. I had her change from using Jane to using Education as the team so it was not so personally humiliating. It makes me feel like the red-headed step child that the kids are being told to play nice with me. They don’t and they won’t. I am not a clinician and hence I KNOW NOTHING.
But I always had my Nurse Educator to rely on. The fact that most people differ to her used to bother me. It is so blatant because these people are the rudest, nastiest people ever. But she does know her stuff. We work fabulously together. I actually have the dream team now. Or should I say had. She resigned on Friday. Twenty-five years with the agency and she will be gone in October. She and her husband are moving out of the area to begin their dream careers as co-pastors of a small church. They both just completed their Masters in Divinity and I knew this was the plan…eventually.
To say I am screwed is not really the scope of the situation. The agency is screwed. She is the most knowledgeable person left in the agency. The VP of Clinical has pushed all the “old broads” out and so now, there is no one left with the history and clinical knowledge that she has. She started as an aid and was in the field for years. She had only been teaching for about a year when I started and only one class. We worked together to build the caliber of our training to the status that it has. She teaches now all the big clinical classes. She sits on a few committees. But two years ago, she headed up a major project about our EMR and medications. The VP of Clinical treated her (and me) like we were leapers. He demanded we do this, but then abdicated from the project and left us swinging… which totally frustrated my Educator to the point she was going to quit then. Then she heard through the grapevine that he told someone she was resistant to change and hard to work with. He had a rope for her too. I knew it would expedite her finding a new job. Her loyalty to the agency was gone.
The depth of the impact of this is wiping me out. I do have a solution but it will impact everything I did on the aide program this past year. But not having the right educator in this role will impact the agency more. I am afraid they are not going to allow me to make this decision and that this may open up a new mess with the friggin VP demanding he rule education and he puts who he wants in there.
I am so done with all this. I love the work that I do. I hate the drama. I really do not like working in the Health field anymore. It is more than I can deal with. The stupidity of eliminating the old, seasoned people has truly bit them in the ass. There is only one seasoned nurse left. Last year, the VP told me he was gunning for her. She has 40 years there and he has pushed her so much, she is retiring at the end of the summer. But this past year, she has been out more than in because she has so much PTO. They have brought up these young people with no mentors to guide them and they are destroying the agency.
And…. Since the Med Center owns us, they have been putting more of their employees in place. The writing is on the wall that they will eventually absorb all the support departments. That won’t happen before I am out of there, however. But they are not going to invest in us or those departments. They are not going to bail us out of our building, even though they, the Med Center, are building everywhere in the area. Being stuck in that building is causing me physical issues. If we keep losing so much money, I am not sure what the Med Center will do. They need us, but they could take over and run it much more efficiently.
It is time for me to go. It has been time for a long while. This was just a few of the things going on and this was just last week. There are a lot more issues, way more. My physical situation is not going to get better but I do not need to hasten my decline with the stress this is causing me. I know I want to keep working. I want to have a remote job that will include good health insurance. I have started the hunt. But the lack of insurance and losing the income right now has me trapped.