Nursing Voices

Monday, January 08, 2007


I am ambivalent about my hospital's claim that we are seeking Magnet status. You can find more information about this designation here.

At times, I feel inspired to aid in the effort, certain that if we can find enough like-minded colleagues to work towards positive change, we can make it a better workplace. I am often proud to acknowledge that I am part of such an esteemed institution, that we can provide professional, highly-specialized and complex, but heartfelt, individualized care to a high volume of patients. I assume that my fellow nurses choose to stay because they, too, appreciate the high expectations and abundant opportunities inherent to a large teaching facility.

However, there are also times when I am discouraged by the ridiculous processes and mindless functions of the executives and managers who spend so much time talking in circles and sitting on committees that accomplish nothing. How can we effect change if those in leadership roles care more about the statistics than they do about the people "beneath" them who are daily offering their blood, sweat, and tears at the bedside? I wish I could say that we have a cohesive team from top to bottom, but I am constantly reminded that this is simply not true. There are an abundance of petty battles being waged at any given point, with very few satifactory resolutions made.

To my fellow bloggers: Do you work for a Magnet hospital? I would love to know... how is it?


A few other random thoughts:


It was an incredibly busy weekend. Low staffing didn't help: it would not have seemed quite so out of control with a few more warm bodies present, but we made do (as always) with what we had. Now that all the holiday celebrating has ceased, we have settled back into the normal routine... busyness as usual. Today feels like I'm recovering from a marathon: achy head, sore shoulders, heavy eyelids, sore throat. I still didn't manage to get a pedometer for Christmas, so I'm not sure how many miles it was this weekend. It felt like at least a marathon's worth!


As a charge nurse, I often step into the room for the actual delivery, to make sure that there are enough hands available and that the newborn can receive any extra care if necessary. Sometimes I miss having a close bond with one patient and seeing her through the entire experience, but it is thrilling to be present for so many of those most magical of moments. Within an hour and a half the other night, I witnessed a natural (and naked) birth that was documented by a professional photograper and videographer, the birth of an undiagnosed Downs Syndrome infant, the birth of a first child after days of labor and hours of pushing, and the birth of a sweet babe with a previously diagnosed cleft lip and palate.

Sigh... our bodies are so amazing. And sometimes they betray us, but that's a post for another day.


AtYourCervix said...

I work at a newly designated Magnet hospital. The nurses on my floor are divided as to what we think about Magnet.

Personally, I feel that it's a nice little label for the administration to brag about. I wouldn't be surprised that administration gets some kind of financial bonus for being designated as a Magnet hospital.

As for my own personal feelings, I could care less that we're Magnet. It hasn't changed how we function as a unit - we've always been a very self governing unit. That doesn't mean that our unit is anywhere near perfect, and we have a lot of problems/issues that haven't had resolutions. Management also tends to not listen to staff input regarding problems, but they're trying to improve that I've noticed.

The nurses that were really gung ho on the whole Magnet application were the nurses that were involved in the application process itself.

Anonymous said...

as a 55 yr old lpn magnet frankly scares the you know what out of me.i work in a nursery presently,but i don't know how long that will last when this hospital goes after magnet status.please think good thoughts for me,as i really don't want to work with adults again.

Anonymous said...

I'm a BSN student doing clinicals at not one, but TWO Magnet hospitals. I have little experience outside the large Magnet hospital environment... but regardless of the Magnet-ization, there are units at both hospitals that I don't want to work in due to poor morale, short-staffing, and general ickyness (so specific, I know!) This isn't to say that there aren't AMAZING units at both, however... and I believe that there are units elsewhere with equal care. I agree that the Magnet status is largely a bragging point for the management and executives... and Magnet status is not going to be something I look for in my first job as an RN.

Mother Jones RN said...

My hospital is currently seeking magnet status. When I asked my boss why, she said it is a "marketing ploy" to draw more patients to our hospital. The hospital is penny pinching the nurses to death, yet they have enough money to spend on getting magnet status, or as my coworkers and I call it, maggot status. What a crock.


apgaRN said...

Thanks for the input! It confirms my fears. I would love to think that if we earned Magnet status, it would mean that we "provide the very best in nursing care and uphold the tradition within nursing of professional nursing practice." (from the Magnet website) Why do we need a label to convince us that we practice this way? Shouldn't it be a given? It's disappointing, to say the least. But that's what we pay the bigwigs for, right?

Labor Nurse said...

My straight up opinion on Magnet is that it's a huge facade. I've worked in two Magnet hospitals now and neither can boast about any special quality that makes them stand out. I was initially placed on some Magnet lunch meeting and quickly took myself out because I was not going to b.s. my way for a free lunch. As much as I like free lunches.

Anonymous said...

As an economist turned L&D nurse (yes strange combo...I know), I will tell you that a famous economist said "There's no such thing as a free lunch!".....Look at that I just combined my two careers!

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