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My hospital is merging…now what?

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Working at a hospital that is in the process of a merger can be frightening. As the economy worsens and government funding diminishes, more small hospitals are merging with larger facilities. If your hospital is going through a merger, there are ways to successfully navigate the changes and keep upbeat about the situation!

 

Stay in touch. Keep yourself in the loop by checking your email and reading all posts and newsletters. Talk to others about the changes and ask your supervisors for information. Attend meetings concerning the merger.

Do the paperwork. Fill out all forms required by your new employer. This may include a new job application resume, 401(k) rollovers, life and health insurance applications, and retirement benefits.

Take the test(s). Required testing may include drug testing and PPD, along with required facility education, safety and CPR.

Focus on the positives. You have a job and you don’t have to leave your friends and coworkers. You can maintain your present position without the hassle of learning a new routine and working with new faces.

Stay optimistic. It’s difficult to stay optimistic when the workplace around you seems like it’s crumbling, but keeping a positive outlook will eventually pay off. It’s hard to work with people who are negative, and being positive will make the transition easier for everyone involved!

Find a safe place to vent. Find someone outside your current facility to talk to. It’s not always a good idea to vent to coworkers since what you say can and will be used against you. Merging is hard on everyone, including the patients—just keep your complaints buried until you leave work.

Merging can bring many positives to a facility that’s having financial difficulties. Maintain your composure and smile. Merging with another facility will be bumpy at first, but in the few short months after the merger is finalized, doors may open for you that you never expected.

Candace E. Finch, BSN, RN, is an orthopedics nurse at Upstate University Hospital at Community General, Syracuse, N.Y. Upstate University Hospital merged with Community General Hospital on July 7, 2011. Finch believes life is interesting after a merger—just keep learning and smiling!

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