By the end of the work-day yesterday I needed a stiff drink or an Ativan. Since I didn’t have any liquor, I opted for the Ativan. I also said the Serenity Prayer at least 150 times.
Sometimes all the things that one sees and hears and experiences in a day can be overwhelming. I love my job. However, there are occasions when I feel over-worked and underpaid. My hospital, like many others out there, is going through tight budgeting times with the uncertainty of the Health Care situation in our great country. The requirements for the time clock have become so strict that I find myself strategically planning my travel to work and my departure from work like a rocket scientist. Utah nurses are at the rock bottom of the pay scale for nearly all nurses in the country.
Our busy season in the department where I work is coming up soon. Rumors abound at the hospital right now regarding the fate of many employees job status. The rumor that we will lose more housekeeping staff is going around. I think our housekeeping staff and the “floor” guys are amazing and are part of what makes working at my hospital great. The hospital is clean. The floors are shiny and well kept. It gives the impression that we know what we are doing here. We’re professional. Not just some podunk hospital in the middle of nowhere. I’ve heard through the grapevine that some of our top administrators are being let go. Who know if that ones true. I think the catchphrase is “consolidating” the leadership.
In my department, we are required to send nurses home ASAP if our patient numbers and ratio to RN’s drops below a certain number. It is unfortunate that many of our newly hired RN’s have to leave first. They don’t have PTO to fall back on yet and they’re getting stressed out. At least three have moved their families to Utah. It is also unfortunate that a book with “guidelines” is the basis for much of our decision making regarding staffing. The patient acuity doesn’t play much part in the decision to have one RN or two left to take care of the last patients on the board for the day.
I think this tightening of the proverbial “belt” at the hospital is an effort to put aside more money for harder times ahead. Lots of employers are doing this. I understand that part. But when I am considering getting a second nursing job to pay my bills, it upsets me. I hate to say it, but I rely on overtime to help meet my obligations financially. I am single. I have some bills, for example, a mortgage and car payment. Obviously, these choices are mine, but it shouldn’t be so difficult to get along in the world on one’s own.
I often worry that if I should get hurt and couldn’t work, I would lose everything I hold dear. As a single white female with no children or “dependants”, and no medical problems that keep me from working, I have no chance for assistance of any kind from the government. My house is a manufactured home. No one wants to refinance a manufactured home. I’ve tried. I am proud to say that I do not need assistance!
My home, for example, the lender wouldn’t think twice about kicking me out of my home if I couldn’t make my mortgage payment. My vehicle would be gone in a minute if I didn’t make the payment. My home and vehicle make it possible for me to work, and in turn, have shelter and food in my fridge. It really sucks to be one of the people paying for everyone else’s healthcare and food and housing because I can work, and work, and work. I think I should get deductions for paying my own bills and not over populating the earth with more people than it can sustain!
Medicaid was started to help those in need, disabled people, elderly, and those people who really need it. It wasn’t meant to cover all of humanities healthcare problems.
Congress is worried that if we take the young healthy people out of the ACA insurance pool, and let them buy their own insurance, there won’t be money left to pay for all the other people who are using it. No shit sherlock! If only the people who truly needed Medicaid were allowed to have it that wouldn’t be a problem. I think people should be able to pick their own healthcare providers and choose what they want covered. It is ridiculous to penalize people for not having healthcare. If they can’t afford to pay for healthcare insurance, then how the hell are they going to pay a fine?
I have insurance through my employer. I hardly ever need to use it. It doesn’t really help me with the things I need. Glasses for instance. I can’t use my insurance at Walmart Eye Center, which is convenient for me, they don’t accept it. But I can go to a private eye doctors office and use my insurance and pay 10 times as much for the same exam and same glasses that I could get at Walmart for 350.00 cash. But by gosh Walmart takes Medicaid. Oh, that makes me mad! When I wanted to get a colonoscopy, I had to call five doctors offices to find one that would take my insurance. Bunch of crap.
I don’t like paying more taxes in the county I live in for schools, libraries, and many municipal services that I can’t take advantage of. I don’t have kids. I don’t use the library. I get my water from the well water system that my homeowner’s association manages. I have a septic tank. We don’t have city water, city sewer, flood control, or varmint control, or weed control. We put in our own paved streets in the subdivision years ago and we paid for it. The fire department belongs to the city. We have to use the County Sheriff for any law enforcement problems, not the city police. The county commissioners once told a group that our subdivision developers didn’t pay enough “impact fees” to be able to have municipal services provided by the city. And, through all that nonsense, I’m still paying property taxes that go into the general fund, and for schools I don’t need etc. There are several 1980’s type mobile homes right next to my property, but my taxes keep going up. My dogs are my varmint control. My neighbor man clears my street and driveway when it snows. My goats eat the weeds.
The County/City are still letting developers build out in my area. Just a mile or so from my place, they put in paved streets, city water, city sewer, street lights, street signs, and a new LDS church is going up in the area. Who’s paying for all that?
For the “greater good” can be exhausting. There are too damn many humans. There are too many humans that find it easier to sit back and get a “check” than it is to work. Pain is part of being human, get used to it! Work and responsibility are part of being human, get used to it!
Yesterday, I heard a story on NPR about some congressmen talking about lowering the pre-tax amount of money we can put into our 401K’s. This so they can have more money in circulation for the “big tax cuts”. I swear I’m going to start burying my money in the backyard. Forget the bank, forget the retirement stuff. Technically I will have to work until I cant anymore. There won’t be enough”retirement income” for me. I won’t get social security.
So many thoughts and concerns have been on my heart lately. I just needed to get them out there. Maybe some folks think like I do. Maybe not. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
Just remember, we are all free to choose, but there are consequences to our choices. Your choices might be great for you, but have consequences for your neighbors, co-workers, family and friends.