Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Not With a Bang, but a Whimper"

A few years back, at the Catholic hospital I worked at, the Money Men (those CEO gunslingers who had replaced the Sisters as administrators) decided to do some staff pruning. One of the people they decided to cut was a venerable Nursing Supervisor in her sixties who had worked there over forty years. This woman still dressed in white uniforms and wore a white nursing cap. She was mother and grandmother to many, a true daughter of her church. And loyal to the hospital.

There was once a photo of her on the front page of the Tennessean newspaper. A photographer caught her as she talked to a member of the SWAT team on a night when a drunk showed up in the ER with a gun and shot up a couch in the waiting room.

She was not let go. The doctors stopped the hospital from deleting her. As a pulmonologist there told me"If this is the kind of thing we have to do to keep this hospital open, this hospital may not be worth keeping open".

A friend emailed me last night that this same hospital has once more brought out the shears. And these cuts will bleed.

The chaplains who worked the evening and night shifts are gone. The people who came to sit with dying patients, who came to calm distraught daughters, who came to listen to nurses conflicted about when to stop life support and when to go on-

Gone.

Meanwhile up in the Executive Suite it is all fresh flowers, clean carpets, pipe dreams about "market share".

If this is the kind of thing they have to do to keep the hospital open, maybe the hospital is not worth keeping open.

3 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

a friend just retired yesterday and her final email to everyone cut lose a lot of reality in a failure from management

Book-hound said...

This is so sad, and sadly is the kind of thing that is happening everywhere. It's only when you lose people like this that you realise what you've lost, and by then it's too late :-(

betsy said...

I think layoffs and firings such as this are used not only to "save" money, but to terrorize and silence the workers who complain. Open your mouth, then feel the knife at your throat-