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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hospital Marketing Lexicon

Many RTs are overworked and under paid.  So what do these mean?

Good staffing:  Having an appropriate number of workers on duty to complete expected assignments.  Ideally, if workloads are high, staffing should be increased as appropriate.  If workloads are low, staffing should be reduced as appropriate.

Compensation:  Workers should be appropriately and fairly paid for the work they perform.  Workers should be paid extra for doing the work of more than one worker, and also paid extra if they are at home and are called in.

Poor Compensation:  Paying workers as little as possible.  So long as staffing is at appropriate levels wages and salaries should not be increased.  Workers are then told that their compensation is on average with the surrounding market.  This often results in low morale, yet that's fine so long as staffing is at a good level and the hospital continues to make a profit.  This is often coupled with poor public relations (see below).

Fair Compensation:  Making an "honest" effort to pay fair market wages for the tasks completed, and providing fair benefits and raises based on inflation and performance.

Taking advantage of workers:  Some bosses know workers will come into work when they are called in just because they know what it's like when workloads are high.  They want to help out their coworkers.  I usually come when I'm called in because if I were working I'd want someone to be willing to come in and help me.  So bosses often "take advantage" of this and so long as we continue to come in when called, they will not fairly compensate us for our generosity.

Overworked:  One person doing the work of two or three or four people

Underpaid:  When a person is paid less than the fair market wage for the work completed; unfair compensation

Good Public Relations: An attempt by administration to keep workers happy with fair compensation.

Poor Public Relations:  An attempt by the administration to keep workers happy.  When they can't accomplish this goal with fair compensation, they do it by having midnight meals, holiday parties, and buying donuts every once in a while.

Worker satisfaction:  The level or degree of happiness with workload, compensation, and morale of the institution.  Usually if workloads are high, worker satisfaction decreases, yet this can be made up for with increased compensation.

We can look at this from two angles.

  1. From the employee:  Administration is often unable to justify additional staffing.  Like the grocery business, budgets are often set based on the previous years workload.  It's not possible to predict busy and slow times.  So during slow times some workers may have to go home early to save money, and during busy times workers may be expected to be overworked and underpaid for the work they do.  They do not want to pay extra for extra work because workers should be willing to help out their coworkers and be part of the team.
  2. From the employer:  When it's busy extra workers should be available.  One person should not be expected to do the work of more than one person.  Burnout, apathy, low sense of well being are often the result of being overworked.  When the workload is low, the employee will send workers home because the workload doesn't justify extra workers, yet when the workload is busy workers are expected to work harder and longer hours.  This is unfair.  If we are called in to work extra hours, we should be justly compensated.
Customer Service:  Learning how to say nice things to rude people.  Learning methods of preventing problems with other people, and learning methods of solving problems that occur.

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