It’s not always about the money

Vinnstock | iStock
Vinnstock | iStock

Here is an open letter to any and all hospital administration who cares to listen.

Dear Administration Team:

We nurses understand the importance of Press Ganey, HCAHPS, patient safety initiatives and fiscal responsibility. The business of health care has become more cutthroat than ever before. But somewhere along the way the lines became blurred and you forgot that the business of taking care of others cannot be accomplished unless you take care of those who take care of you.

I won’t insult your intelligence, so you are probably aware that a fine balance between recruitment and retention is paramount to the success of any company. We all know that it takes more resources and deeper purse pockets to hire and train employees, than it does to retain those whom already have shown some allegiance and loyalty. Anyone and everyone’s ‘system’ can be bled dry by a high turnover rate percentage.

I thought I might suggest ways to increase your retention and quite possibly eliminate this system exsanguination:

  • Learn how to give more positive feedback. We always hear negative.
  • Stop finding the time to point out what we are NOT doing, and find the time to thank us for the job we ARE doing – EVERYDAY.
  • While a pat on the back is fine and dandy, how about a lil more tangible feedback for your appreciation? We all love a free meal now and then.
  • Stop micromanaging – please.
  • Adopt and enforce ‘The No Assh*le Rule‘. This includes ANYONE with a G.O.D complex (no matter what their credentials say).
  • All work and no play makes Jack and Jill very dull boys and girls. Ever heard the saying ” A family that plays together stays together?” – ‘Nuff said.
  • Just because it looks good on paper, does not mean it will work well at the bedside.
  • When an employee makes the extra effort, or goes the extra mile, – find a way to give them an extra-ordinary thank you.

There is no predicting why or when someone chooses to leave. I guess we all fall prey to the possibility of greener pastures. If any of the above suggestions are followed, we most certainly would already be standing on the correct side of the fence.

I don’t think anyone can find their true dream job, because quite honestly everyone’s dreams continue to evolve.

Please keep in mind, that while we often feel we never get paid enough – our choice to pursue this career was never about the money. It’s not just a job for many of us, it’s a lifestyle.


A Nurse

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12 Responses to It’s not always about the money

  1. Tara

    this is so true…I gave my all for the past seven years to a company that changed hands three times. Each time I remained positive. Seven months ago when my husband had a massive stroke, the support of the company was nill. All they wanted to know was when I was returning to work…wounds had increased and family and residents wanted me back. To say the least the pressures from it all had my doctor tell me to not to return there. At this time I have applied at a different place. Giving up seven years full time day employment for a .41 position. Administration only had to show a little more concern and compassion.

    • Sean Dent

      @Tara Do what is best for you, so sorry to hear things didn’t work out where they should have. Best of luck!

  2. Melissa

    Thank you and it is so true. I especially like and agree with the one that says “just cause it looks good on paper does not mean it works at the bedside.”

  3. Enrique Olorvida

    Goodness gracious, for the longest time i have been looking for an article that best describes me being a nurse (non-US) today, BAM! I saw this post.

    Greatful to you Sean, you almost wrote all the things…

    and i just hope all admins should be more HUMAN to their Nurses!

    • Sean Dent

      @Enrique I’m glad you enjoyed it. You are absolutely right.

  4. This needs to be forwarded to all hospital administration!

  5. Sean Dent

    @thenerdynurse now that WOULD be something huh? :)

  6. Mitch Nermal

    So so true! Wish I could find a hospital that knows how to take care of their nursing staff, and not just think about the money… They should always remember that nurses are a vital part of the hospital, and nurses are not robots, we have feelings too!

  7. Lisa

    Encouraging advice for everyone!

  8. philadel

    Funny this came up. Last night I never felt so horrible at work. I want to run out the hospital. I recently started on a telemetry floor. I am just about to come off orientation. Prior to this I worked in psych and home care. I’ve been striving to land a job like this. I was the happiest in my life to get this position. Within these 3 months I’ve had my ups and downs. I have great days but the bad days are just terrible. It was so terrible last night I just want to never go back to the floor. I don’t want to give up my pay and health care of course. But is it worth what this job is doing to me mentally and physically? It’s so overwhelming. I believe it is the floor. I am thinking of telling the supervisor that this floor just isn’t for me and hopefully they can put me some were else. In the meantime I should look for another job. I’m so upset and sick over this. But even the atmosphere there is so miserable and I am a happy person. So far 2 people on my shift have quit because of the under staffing and difficult work.

  9. jrbl77

    Great article! Says everything I would say or wish I could say. It isn’t always about the money. Thanks goes a long way. In nursing, it seems what you do well is overlooked but what you you have a hard time with is constantly brought up. The health care system does a great job telling it’s consumers how to care for self, but does a terrible job of caring for it’ s own.