I am so bored right now. Yesterday, we had 9 patients and the day went by at a fairly reasonable speed. Today, we started out with 7 patients and then 2 “dropped off” so now we only have 5 patients to see for the entire day. And I have to be here until 4:30p.
Yesterday, during the entire 8 hour shift, I had a grand total of 2 phone calls. Today, so far, I have only had 1 phone call. And now we get to the part where I am afraid to say anything because you know when there’s no work to do, they either look at decreasing your hours, eliminating your position, or piling on a bunch of “extra work” that isn’t really your work to be doing. Our department only has 7 people in it. 2 are office staff, 1 is a part-time social worker, 3 are providers, and then there’s me. That’s it. Our grand total patient load is 253 patients on our “current patient list”.
And I remember when I worked in OB/GYN, when we saw that many patients in one day. How did I go from one extreme to the other? I went from being a receptionist, being on the phones, to being a receptionist again only to move to a different department, doing different stuff. Its like a roller coaster ride of responsibilities. You never know from one day to the next whether its going to be “crazy” or if it is going to be the literal definition of “dead”. Today, however, may very well be described as “dead”. Tomorrow, we only have 2 patients but there’s a chance that I could go the whole day with a phone call an hour (which is busy for our office) which would make the day be kind of crazy even though there’s really only 2 patients that we have to see in our office.
I understand now why the R.N. that was in my position was always busy. She knew it was dead and knew there wasn’t a whole lot for her to work on so she created work. All I really need to do is room patients and help them fix their problems. But this lady added forms to fill out, packets to look at, stuff to file, stuff to fax, scripts to be authorized, referral to be put in. Essentially, she created busy work to make it look like she was busy. Most likely, because she knew that an expensive R.N. wouldn’t last very long in a position like hers if she didn’t justify why she needed to be there. There was absolutely no reason for a $20.00/hour R.N. to be in this position. I make half of that as a Medical Assistant and still have no work to do. I wonder if my department leader knows just how much they were screwing themselves out of money…? And for two entire years too. She lasted 2 years with her busy work and her expensive salary. And I’m just like…. How…? Why…? I guess she was just really really good at doing busy work that no one seemed to notice that she was, in fact, doing busy non-essential work.
And I’m forced to be here at least 78 hours in a pay period which means I can only leave 1 hour early twice in two weeks. So, leave only an hour early once a week. That came from the department leader because it I work any less than that, than she will be forced to cut my full-time position down to part-time and once she does that; she won’t be able to take it back up to full-time again without a lot of hassle. So I am forced to be here, sitting behind my desk with literally nothing to do for 8 hours.
Well, that is, nothing to do until 1 of my 5 patients decides to show up for their appointment. Then I can actually work. Taking vitals, getting temperature and weight, then entering the ESAS and PHQ-9 scores into the computer. My work takes a whole of 5-10 minutes to complete for each patient. Then if there are no phone calls, there are no additional tasks to complete. New patients are allotted 1 hour appointments just because of the nature of our department, they really need that extra TLC to address all of their issues. Established patients are allotted 30 minutes because they are mainly there for medication refills anyway and that doesn’t require a lot of time but we give them extra time, even, just in case there are additional issues that need to be addressed. With that said, we are generally addressing whatever issues they have at their appointment so there isn’t too high of a need to call in later with an issue. Which equals hardly any phone calls for your girl here.
Bright side: There’s unlimited amounts of free hot coffee here so I can drink it to my hearts content. And I’m in my own little cubby hole where no one really bothers me except for when they need to fax or copy something, or pick up something from the printer. My cubby hole houses not only me but a printer and a fax/copier machine too.
Our last patient is at 1:30p but I have to stay until 4:30p for whatever reason. Remember, I have to work a total of at least 78 hours a pay period or they will decrease my position type to part-time. It will be different once I start graduate school but for now, there generally is nothing to do after 1:30pm expect answer phone calls and put out small fires. Our phones turn off at 4:00p so there is an additional 30m where I am just sitting, playing on the internet, in all honesty. Because doing that is better than contemplating human kinds presence on earth; just blankly staring off into the distance waiting for someone to acknowledge me. See, there are two alternatives…. Play on the internet or stare off into space. That is my work aside from the minor duties that I have to complete.
Once graduate school starts, at least I will have some “extra time” to covertly work on homework assignments like discussion board topics or internet research. And having our last patient at 1:30p means that I will get off work with plenty of time to get to class. My school is only about a block away from work so it should only take a maximum of 15m to get there in the evenings after work.
Anyway, I’ve written enough for a small novel now so I guess I’m going to go find something else to do to keep my mind engaged.