Sara Childers indeed made it “sweeter” as she resigned from the said hospital through a cake she got delivered to “Forensics Ward 2,” Thursday.
Writing “Swing shift: I (heart) you!” followed by “Western State Hospital: I Quit!!!” Childers seemed just to have it all figured out. She didn’t take things the way others might have expected.
“I kind of just wanted to laugh with everybody again when I left,” she reiterated.
Childers originated from Wyoming and worked at Western State for seven months. According to her, as soon as she started, she felt like everything has gone wrong. The hospital, although quite large, was just one of the worst locations to work in.
The staff, in her experience, were not supported well by the management. The hospital administration appeared to focus on punishments instead of rewards. Due to long working hours and low pay, a lot of employees resign one after another.
This, in turn, resulted in high nurse-to-patient ratios. Since nurses wanted to provide a more individualized treatment, they just can’t.
Childers may have offered her former colleagues a good laugh with her resignation. However, it still hasn’t addressed the serious concerns they’ve been facing. In a way, though, according to her, she felt like she has voiced out a clear issue worth paying attention to.
Addressing Nurses’ Work Concerns
So, what exactly do nurses need for them to stay? More-than-decent pay? Quality training? Good patient-nurse ratio?
Hospital management may still need to look into these issues some more. Identifying nurses’ and other healthcare staff’s concerns are just the first steps. Instead of just looking at the bottom line, it pays to ask. What could be the long-term solution to retaining healthcare staff? How can the institution keep their employees?
On Long Work Hours
According to a 2015 research published in the BMJ Open, nurses tend to resign from their job due to inadequate staffing and work schedules. Although 12-hour shifts are becoming the trend these days, the said study also points out how long work hours can also have ill effects.
For one, these long shifts are related to higher levels of job dissatisfaction (about 40 percent) and resignation (31 percent). When nurses feel such, quality of patient care often deteriorates as well. Other researchers, however, emphasize that even if nurses work long hours, as long as there are right staffing and support, they would still not leave their job.
Likewise, nurses would also feel more fulfilled at work if top management could give issues with staffing more serious attention. Nurses must have an outlet to vent their concerns professionally — in a way that they won’t feel threatened for doing so.
Whatever it takes to understand nurses’ grievances, it’s clear that institutions still need to sync in their staff retention programs with the real scenarios that employees face. With proper assessment and planning, both management and employees can develop win-win solutions.