The following letter was originally written on October 2017 regarding the nurse turnover epidemic in relation to autocratic management issues. Names** were edited for confidentiality.
To whom this may concern:
My name is “anonymous.” I am currently working as a registered nurse in the telemetry unit of this hospital. I will not disclose my personal information because I wanted this letter to be an outlet of expressing my concerns. I hope that someone out there is willing to listen and is willing to act accordingly.
I have been an employee for about two years. I have watched myself grow as a person and as a nurse over the time that I have been in this hospital. The first year of working at the hospital had been a “rollercoaster” – cliché, but true. The “ups” and “downs” of being an employee in a new hospital is something inevitable when lack of strict policies, skilled man-power, adequate supplies and proper management add up to it. Issues were easier to tackle during that rollercoaster period because “team tele” would find ways to overcome these situations despite shortages in multiple disciplines.
Telemetry had a reputation for being a unit full of “hard-headed” employees, especially when Mr. Collins** was filling in as our unit supervisor. Young nurses (age 20-30’s) were misunderstood for their shortcomings. Although our job had numerous abrupt changes (increase in patient census, new environment when an additional floor was open to occupy more beds, shortages of staff when workers had left the hospital due to visa issues), the nurses that had stayed united together for the mission of providing quality care to the people of our community. Our unit had developed into a team and it was a beautiful experience. Despite numerous hours in the hospital and difficulties delivering patient care, working became “easy” because of the undying support that was visible during that period.
Plot twist: Mrs. Julia** became our new telemetry unit manager. She has been with the unit since May 2017. I do not have anything against her personally, but I think that she is the cause of the “downfall” of Telemetry. A manager’s attitude could greatly affect the work environment of their employees. It hasn’t been the best environment during the past five months.
Please hear me out.
Initially, I had assumed that Mrs. Julia** was having a difficult time in adjusting to her new position as a unit manager in a new environment. I gave her the benefit of the doubt, along with my other respective co-workers. As the months had passed, our unit was greatly deteriorating. The reason? Mrs. Julia**
Numerous nurses in the telemetry unit had decided to leave for “greener pasteurs.” I am positive that the HR department is aware of that. Have you ever discussed certain possibilities of why the turnover rate of nurses has increased significantly within the past few months? The reason? Mrs. Julia**
I have had a personal conversation a few weeks ago with Mrs. Julia** regarding the resignation of multiple staff. Her response? “It’s okay. I have a lot of staff coming from the states.” There is a lack of empathy for her current employees, which is not a good sign of proper leadership. I do not think that the hospital needs to keep replacing nurses because of good nurses that were pushed to their limits by their managers.
Nurses whom are currently employed are unhappy with how they are being treated. Each day seems like a new opportunity to find fault in one’s work. There are times in which we are treated like children who lack guidance. This should not be the case because nurses should be viewed as professionals. We are forced to work overtime (policy states that minimum hours of full time employees is 32 per week); therefore, we are burnt out. We are underestimated because we are labeled as nurses from this community. Although I know that there are different healthcare approaches nationwide, I do not think that belittling someone is appropriate to any expense. Experience is always a great thing, but it will not get you anywhere without proper respect. There are numerous staff who are trying to find ways to leave the unit; may it be transferring to another floor/hospital or pushing plans earlier and moving out of the community.
I do not like going to work because I start to get anxiety when I’m aware that my manager would be working with me. I had lost the motivation that I had when I initially became a nurse because of poor management. The remaining factors that motivate me are fear, experience and money. It deeply saddens me. There are times that I had questioned myself if I am still strong enough to work in a unit where I do not respect my manager professionally because she does not respect her staff professionally.
I do not want to continue working with a manager that creates such a hostile environment. I am choosing to stay (for now) because I do not want to leave behind the remaining’s of the “team tele” that I had started with. There are still good nurses in our unit that linger on to the hope of change. Take care of the remaining staff we have in our unit before the company ends up losing them too.
I am not writing this letter with hopes of expecting change overnight. I would just like your department to be aware of what is happening to what is left in our unit. Please look into this situation.
“People don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.”