The end of an era.

I have come to the disturbing conclusion, bubbling below the surface of my consciousness for months and causing great mental distress, that my place of employment has passed its days of greatness.  The things – no, the thing – that made my employer unique is simply gone, and it left with the retirement of the previous president and CEO.  Sadly, even though it’s a non profit, it is run increasingly like a for profit institution and words like ‘throughput’ ‘efficiency’ ‘customer service’ ‘market share’ and more are on the lips of more and more people there.  The people at the top, who are supposed to have a clue, are completely out of touch with what transpires on a daily basis in the very departments that effect the raison de etre for the facility.  It really makes me sad.

It’s truly a sad thing when a mid level boss has to actually conduct a study and gather data to prove it’s not his department that is causing the holdup.  It’s a truly sad thing when admitted patients sit in the ED for hours because the floors have sent staff home because of lack of patient load and in the interests of ‘fiscal responsibility’. It’s even sadder when patients sit in triage for hours waiting because the beds they need are filled with patients who are already admitted and can’t be moved.

How can we seriously talk about ‘throughput’ when we’re talking about human lives?  Or market share?  Or efficiency?  People aren’t products!   We don’t manufacture people, we care for them, and those words seriously shouldn’t even be in the same paragraph as human medical treatment.  Any time you talk about efficiency when speaking of medical care you are talking about cutting staff and essential services in the interests of the bottom line, and don’t let anyone fool you into believing differently.  And I’m sorry, but the best way to give good customer service is to STAFF APPROPRIATELY AT ALL TIMES.  There’s simply no other way to do it.  Making people do more with less means that more errors will occur, and more lawsuits will ultimately come for the simple reason that workers are overstressed and hurried.  It’s a hard enough job to do with compassion and personal efficiency.  What’s more, staff are human. The entire efficiency model is based on a debunked paradigm of humanity and the world as machines.
Trying to make nurses and techs work harder than they already do is a losing proposition.

There are several areas in the public sphere that really, honestly, should NEVER be left to a capitalist persuasion.  Life safety — OSHA, fire service, police, emergency medical services; welfare — trash, sewage, water, electricity; medical care — nursing, medicine, hospitalization, doctoring.  Any time it becomes a for profit career or institution it becomes corrupted.  Or at least in modern times, thanks to corporatism, have become corrupted.  Perhaps in the past the corruption was less simply because the sphere of influence was less.

All I have to say is that the economy better hold out til I get my graduate degree completed.

One response

  1. Seeing that you’re a green advocate (and blogger) I wanted to reach out and see if you were interested in an article that I recently have written. It’s on the Olympics and the steps they’re taking to go green and decrease the environmental impact that it has.

    I think you and your readers of ( will find it a unique topic and a fun read.

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