Soul Crushing, a great place to risk losing your hard earned medical license!
Registered Respiratory Therapist (Former Employee) – Inpatient RT department – February 27, 2019
When I started working at Altru I had planned for it to be my forever job. I am a motivated, highly skilled, and goal oriented RT. Healthcare is fast paced and demanding, which I love. However, at Altru they made it next to impossible to leave your shift feeling fulfilled and accomplished. We were understaffed more times than not and were given the reasoning of "you can't plan for the what ifs". That meant that we could not have even one extra staff member (by extra I mean the actual amount that would be necessary for the workload already assigned) to help absorb the patient care load in case of a emergency that would require a large amount of time from one or more staff members in the event of a Code Blue, trauma, high risk delivery, etc. So if you have a loved one in the hospital requiring assistance from the Respiratory Care Department you need to pray that they get better fast or that it is abnormally slow for your loved one to receive the care they need and deserve. Our manager actually sent out a list of patient therapies we were to exclude from our workload, meaning not do with the patients regardless of MD order, if we got too busy with another patient. This was to avoid overtime, thus costing more money or worse justifying more staff.
Management had the nerve to actually tell me once that I could not talk to my husband about an issue I had with another employee as this was confidential Altru business even though it was not in regards to patient care and there would be no patient confidentiality regulations broken. Scare tactics are used. One night working a shift that was already short staffed with 2 RT's on for the night and during that shift one of those RT's had to leave on a neonatal transport to another hospital leaving one RT to cover the whole hospital. Attempts were made to call in extra staff with not luck, supervisors and managers were called to come help but we were told no as they had meetings the next day that were too important. That left one RT to cover 3 ICU's, the ER, and 5 general care floors. This is not safe. The next morning when telling one of the supervisors who had denied us help when called in the middle of the night her response was "but did you die"? There came a point where no amount of money being thrown at you could get you to come in, but lets be real there was never any real incentive to come in to work extra. When staff no longer care about how short they are and know when given their shift assignments that they will only be able to accomplish about half of what they are assigned you have a problem. When that same staff no longer feel bad about not completing their assignments you have a problem. When staff are coordinating calling in sick in attempts to force management to correct the staffing issues you have a problem.
You will learn time management, you will learn many areas of patient care (some well before you are ready to, but hey we are short staffed and you saw that one day in clinicals a few years ago in school so you should be good), you will learn to go without meals, your family will never expect you home on time, you will not be rewarded for your efforts but for sure will be chastised for your mistakes. You will learn to go many hours without using the bathroom and even more without eating because if you eat that will be another bathroom break you do not have time for. You will cry. You will eventually either lose your drive and the passion that brought you to healthcare in the first place or if you are lucky you will leave. I hope that any RT would is considering coming to Altru reads this and takes it seriously. You and your family deserve better and are worth more.
it's a job, better than being homeless