Friday, October 15, 2010

Who Manages Nurses? Nurses.

After pumping myself up, studying my nursing assistant flashcards, and getting all dressed up fancy-like, I got to my interview at the Skilled Nursing facility only to find that in fact, they don't even consider candidates who aren't certified. Crap.

Since the facility is affiliated with a hospital, and the hospital is part of a multi-state network, they do all their applications online and have outsourced recruitment to a different company. This means that even though I applied online like I was supposed to, did my phone interview with the recruiter and did it well, it was only today that I actually spoke to anyone who knows about nursing. A nurse, and a nurse manager at that.

Oh well.

This is why nurses manage nurses. You know on TV shows how the doctors are always bossing around the nurses, telling them to do this and that? And sometimes even firing them or threatening to? It doesn't really work that way. Doctors and nurses are paralell professions that work together, but do not supervise one another except to serve as checks and balances against one another. Doctors are responsible for the health of the patients and so are nurses. If one staff does something wrong, it's the other one's job to catch the error and correct it. Sure, doctors make more money and are often more respected, but doctors are not the ones who hire and fire nurses. Nurse managers are.

So what happened today was a good example of why nurses hire other nurses (or nursing assistants): it's a complicated little world, nursing is, with tons of niches and jobs to fill. And non-nurses don't always know or understand all the distinctions between the various certifications.

And in Long Term Care (nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and the like)? You almost never see a doctor on premesis. Sure they come and assess patients occasionally, but for the most part, nurses do that. Nurses fax doctors to get meds and treatments ordered, and then once they get what they asked for back, they administer the treatment or med.

Have you heard the expression "Doctors diagnose, Nurses heal"?

Today it should have been "Human Resources interviews, Nurses hire".

Oh well, I'll be back with certification in hand by January. By the end of this month I'll have worked enough overtime to pay for a private CNA course out of pocket so that I can be finished in just 3 weeks, take the state exam, and get myself certified. Hooray!

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