Nursing Voices

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Great White Hunter and the Emergency Room Nurse

Do you remember the old Tarzan movies? There was always a guy in the movie playing the part of the Great White Hunter. He was a troublemaker. The Great White Hunter killed natives and poached wild jungle animals in Tarzan’s backyard. Tarzan didn’t like that, and he would swing out of the trees and kick the hunter’s butt. There was also a hungry lion hanging around that ate the hunter at the end of the movie. That was my favorite part because native killers and poachers suck. And speaking of poachers, did you know that some hospital administrators are trying to poach ER nurses from other facilities? Really! Just ask our hospital administrator, Mr. Grinch.

It’s a fact, ER nurses are super stars. Having a heart attack? No problem. An ER nurse will get you up and running in no time flat. Can’t breath? They will fix that, too, while doing twenty other things at once. And let me tell you, I’ve never met an ER nurse who takes crap. It’s really hard finding good ER staff, and hospitals are doing a lot of things to keep their ER nurses happy. The first thing that comes to mind is MONEY. Yes, it’s good to be paid what you’re worth. Here at the Greatest Hospital in the World, Mr. Grinch came up with a plan, and offered ER nurses a whopping $15 dollar an hour differential for working in our emergency room. This bonus was referred to as a “critical need” differential. In other words, Mr. Grinch started paying top dollar for top talent, and needless to say, the talent came bursting into the nurse recruiter’s office when word got out about the differential. Mr. Grinch built up a top-notch ER staff in no time at all, but there was a flaw in his plan. He didn’t bother telling anyone that the differential was only temporary. It dried up just after a few months. The ER nurses were not amused with Mr. Grinch’s shenanigans, so they all walked out of the Greatest Hospital in the World and started working at the Hospital Down the Road.

Mr. Grinch was beside himself. He wasn’t happy about the mass exodus by his emergency room nurses, so he went looking for his wayward staff. He took a road trip with the intention of poaching a few nurses and bringing them back to his hospital. After arriving at the Hospital Down the Road, Mr. Grinch blew past the triage area, and walked up to his former staff members who were sitting at the nurses station. The nurses just stared at him in disbelief. Mr. Grinch said that he wanted to be their friend, and that all would be forgiven if they came back to the Greatest Hospital in the World. He even said that he would even give back their critical need differential just because he wanted to make them happy. The oldest nurse in the bunch told him to get the hell out of their ER before she called security to have him escorted off of hospital property.

Poor Mr. Grinch has something in common with the Great White Hunter. Lions eat the poachers, and nurses do, too.


Blogger may said...

wow. does he know anything baout being discreet? can't believe the grinch had the nerves to even show up in another ER with such blatant intent!

it is stranger than fiction.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

The lion must like baked poacher for dinner....or even poached baker!

12:25 PM  
Blogger Juliette said...

It's been a million years since I last commented on your blog, but this story I just read made me think of you...
It seems that nurses are mistreated everywhere. I'm not sure if this is going to make you feel better (general solidarity) or worse (there's no cure for this illness...)

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My hospital is certainly "special".
About every two months, we get a free cafeteria meal. Granted it is the cheapest things the kitchen can find. Last month it was two cheese enchiladas with rice and beans and a sopapilla thrown unceremoniously on top of the beans. The beans, then tasted like cinnamon and sugar. One of the nurses who was bravely trying to eat her food said, "Now remind me.... are they rewarding us or punishing us?"

No raise for prn nurses in eons. But of course carpets get an upgrade, walls painted, curtains replaced before JCAHO trots in for "Fright Night".

Yes, monetary compensation is an issue. The workloads are heavy, physical tasks are heavy, emotionally we are sucked dry and it is hard to go home on time. We earn very little for our knowledge base and the expectation that we must be all things to all men.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Any time I think I've worked for some screwy individuals, I can happily rely on your tales of Mr. Grinch to let me know that those sociopathic drama queens PALE in comparison. Geez, girl.....

11:12 PM  
Blogger ERnursey said...

heh, heh, heh, you don't wanna make an ER nurse mad.

11:37 PM  
Blogger gypsygrrl said...

LOVE that ER nurse. LOVE HER!!! that mr. grinch sure has some balls to walk in there and try and sway them back. this just happened with our Patient Care Techs. they had issues with weekend coverage and offered "weekend option" for both RN's and Techs. which meant work every weekend and get anywhere from 15%-40% more of your base salary/hour. very suddenly and in a shitty letter, they told the techs they were taking it away. that they could still keep working their every-weekend-deal but just less money. when they balked at it, the admin peeps said it should have only been for nurses anyway. not exactly the way to keep your techs happy, eh?

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing. You know how the hospital I used to work for solved the staffing problem in the ER. They pulled nurses off of regular floors, without so much as even an orientation, and forced them to work ER. I ask you, if you were having an MI, wouldn't you want a specifically trained nurse to be taking care of you? Nursing has become a joke.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Credit card companies practice similar techniques. Ever hear of a teaser rate?

7:09 PM  

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