Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Unbearable pivot of not-here, not-there

I don't feel so good about work recently. The following e-mail to my friend provides a summary of my thoughts.


Hi [edited],

I just spoke with the [edited] High Commission officer this afternoon of Tuesday 20-Oct. She informed me that she has received my passport but not my medical check-up package. As she wanted to process my application quickly, she enquired about the date of my medical check-up. After we hung up, I called the doctor's clinic and they told me that the High Commission's Immigration Section has already received and signed for the package on the Friday 9th October. Unfortunately I was unable to call back the [edited] High Commission officer to inform her of the update from the doctor's clinic. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my medical check-up package is sitting in someone's in-tray and would be found and processed accordingly.

I have read further on the [edited: overseas location] requirements to be an RN. It seems like it may not be so straight forward. [Edited: snipped off details of the process.] Still I am so looking forward to move over.

Air my grievances a bit here. Recent days at work were somewhat frustrating.
  • My ward manager wants to create High Dependency Unit in our ward. However we are understaffed at RN levels. Thus when HDU cases come in, the priority of getting their treatment done often results in compromised/delayed treatment to the regular acute patients. Of course, nobody wants to highlight this problem because no one wishes to face investigation into his/her nursing care.
  • Another issue is the unclear boundaries of EN roles in my ward. One of the SEN told me directly that the SENs (especially those who are foreign RN-trained but downgraded to EN in Singapore) feel unhappy whenever they see fresh graduate RNs joining the ward, taking higher pay and yet are less skillful than them. In addition, the hospital is now putting emphasis on developing the RNs, and thus, the SENs feel neglected as second class employees. As a result of some unpleasant past experience (before my time), the SEN told me not to expect them to perform beyond HCA-level work for me or any new RNs when they are assigned to our teams. They are only willing provide EN/RN assistance to Senior RNs or the ward manager. While I appreciate the candidness of that SEN, I feel that she is misplacing the focus of her problem. Taking out her frustrations on the new RNs will not improve her future.
  • Coincidentally, my preceptor chatted with me on a related topic one day before the SEN complained to me. My preceptor is a Senior RN who had been in the ward for 20+ years. She told me that previously there were only RNs and HCAs. Before the ENs joined the ward, the RNs petitioned against their recruitment. The reason was that the RNs did not want an EN level with an unclear scope of duty. In the end, ENs were still recruited to the ward.
  • The ward staff also had some issues with a specialist doctor recently. According to my ward manager (NO), that specialist is trying to control the ward nurses by making us look and feel bad, so that he has someone to push the blame to if his fussy patients lodge a complaint. My NO also said that part of the problem is that nurses do not have a union and when incidents occur, they tend to back-stab each other instead of supporting each other. The solution was to have a strong nurses' union, which unfortunately does not exist in Singapore. [Edit: In fact, Singapore's workers' union is a joke, but that's another story.] My reply was, "it will change", to which the other experienced nurses (including my NO and my preceptor) gave cynical smiles. Actually, in my mind my thoughts were, "It will change. At least for me, it will.
" Of course, my ward manager does not know that I have migration plans.None of the above is really my problem, of course, but it makes my work less pleasant as a new RN. For now, the only thing that keeps me cheerful at work is when each child gets well and runs around happily.

Oops, sorry for my long-winded venting. Hope things are good with you. Will keep you posted of any further news.

Best Regards

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