This is part two of the work that took up a large part of my life. Over the years, we closed our OB/GYN unit, moved the ICU to the first floor. We closed one medical unit and one surgical unit. More outpatient surgery was being done, which increased that portion of our operating room services. The medical unit was moved to first floor. The Long Term Care unit was moved to second floor. We added an Alcohol Rehab program on second floor, which was later moved to the Woodbury building for more beds. Our Psychiatric unit remained in the Woodbury building but became a locked unit to accommodate more severe cases. When alcohol rehab moved we added a third nursing home unit.
After we moved in 1972, the old Sanitarium building was closed. It was renovated into senior citizen apartments a few years later.
The doctor's clinic, which was attached to the hospital,expanded. A Chemo and Radiation Center was built. It was the largest center outside the city hospital. The axillary departments grew to handle the increase doctor clinic. We built a third floor on the hospital for a Skilled Nursing/Ventilator Unit and a locked Alzheimer's unit. The moving and expansion of the Emergency department was in the planning when I retired.
With restructuring, staff reductions began for ACC and transportation. When the move of Medical to first floor occurred the ACC became a secretary based on the surgical unit and one on the medical unit, a floater for afternoons, and one ACC stationed at the desk on days for the nursing home units and one transporter. I had long since resumed my 'working' supervisor role, which was OK. I always enjoyed the job role more than the supervisor role. So now I'm down to three ACC people and one transporter to supervise.
Being out on the twenty bed unit was nice. The difficult part was sharing the little nurse's office which was about as big as a semi-large closet. It's a good thing we had a patient lounge we could share with the patients. My only heart beating moment was when there was only me and one nurse on the unit and she yelled for me to call a 'Code Blue' and come in and record, write the time of events, when called, when CPR started, when people arrived, etc. When the actual recorder arrived, I vacated the premisis.
People used to ask me why I never went into nursing? My stock answer was, "I'm great with enemas but not so great with IV's." After being in the room with a life and death situation, I knew my heart would never have stood the strain.
Plans for the third floor expansion were a couple of years yet from being done. In the mean time a Director of Nurses, strictly for the Nursing home was hired. The position was given to a nurse who had worked on staff, became a Physicians' Assistant and then got her Administrative licence. More state requirements equals more paper work. The Director needed a secretary and someone to input information on the computer and submit it to the state. A new position was posted by Personnel. I went and applied. I wanted to learn the computer and I felt the need not to supervise any more. I was first told by Personnel that because I had no computer skills, it would be too difficult for me to learn the job. OK, I accept that. A week later the new Director comes and asks me why I didn't apply. I said I did and was told no. I was called to Personnel and told I had the job, BUT I still had to supervise the ACC/transport people. Another angel in my corner?
In the mean time it was decided to move the secretaries back to the circular desk, one day shift only. The transporter retired and the position was eliminated. So I'm back to two people to supervise.
I did this job for a couple of years until our third floor was completed. For a while they had no secretary. The nursing home director who hired me resigned and it was decided that the Acute Director of Nurses would take over the Nursing home and an Assistant DON would handle acute with her assistance. When the Acute Director moved over to Nursing Home she brought her Administrative Assistant/secretary with her. I get to train her to do my job, except ACC supervisor. So now there are two of us. Not Good. So much for me! BUT, restructuring again, the staffing coordinator retires. Acute wants to do their own staffing on the individual units and eliminate their secretary. An ACC person now is needed on third floor. My choice is to do staffing for the Nursing Home or take the third floor position, which means one of my girls gets the axe. I opt for staffing.
Another whole new ball of wax. It is not like having sixteen people to schedule for. I have three shifts, RN's, LPN's and aides on five units. Full time, part time,and perdiem people and a set number of people needed to work on each unit, with vacations, days off, sick time, etc. and never quite the right number of staffing equivalents in the right place because who listens to the staffing coordinator? Actual bodies to work , around eight times more than I'm used to. One nice thing, I got to work 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Al was home and I got there earlier. They needed me earlier so I could work on coverage for call-ins for the 7 a.m. shift.
It was more stressful than any other job I'd had. I managed to survive. The staff used to tease me when I walked on the units. They'd run and hide. I'd go knock on the door and say, " You know you can't hide from me. I'll find you wherever you are." It was a joke! They knew I'd understand if they told me NO and I wouldn't take it to heart no matter how desperate to find help I was.
Restructuring again, acute decided it was too much work for them to do their scheduling and they were going to combine acute staffing into nursing home staffing. I already knew one of my girls was about to put in her resignation. So I opted to be the secretary on the Alzheimer's and Skilled Nursing/Vent units. I worked there for about two years opposite my one and only and first ACC person I had to supervise.
I left to come to Florida where I got a part time job at Walgreen's in the pharmacy. Retail, another whole new experience! I quit to care for my husband in his battle with Alzheimer's.
Will I look for another whole new experience at age 66? I just might.