The most important or valuable thing that I learned this past week is that budgeting is HARD. I did not ever realize how many different, little elements and things there are that go into budgeting. It really is a huge and can be a completely complicated mess. But, if done right, it can make or break a unit/team. I think it is really easy as an employee to judge a manager when a new matrix is implemented or when supplies are cut because we are just seeing the change and not necessarily the reason. There is not a lot of transparency when it comes to budgeting because money is messy but I think there should be. I, for one, know that if I was able to see the numbers or at least the basics of the numbers I would understand better why things had to change and where the unit needs to go to stay within budget.
Through the group discussion this week I was really able to see that some of my group members have real strengths when it comes to budgeting. Some of my team members had really great ideas about where to cut the budget with solid reasoning to back it up. I thought it was interesting how we all agreed that cutting the budget in new ways might not be the best idea. Instead, we should trim the fat and try to stick within the original budget. I also appreciated that everyone did not want to jump immediately to lay offs or dramatically changing staffing. Staffing, is one of the hardest things I think every unit has to deal. I think it directly correlates with caregiver happiness and burnout. Because of that it is tricky. So it was nice to see that everyone wanted to maintain the integrity of the units current staffing ratios and cut areas that were also over in hopes that staff satisfaction would remain in tact.
I think the biggest thing that I can implement into my nursing practice because of the things that I learned this week is to be patient with my manager. I personally do not want his job when it comes to budgeting. Not only does the budget deal with supplies and tests and things like that but it deals with people who all have very strong opinions. I do not need to be one that makes his job harder because of budgeting constraints. My manager implemented a new staffing matrix this past May in hopes that it would help cut the cost of staffing because we have been over budget the previous few months. Now, I’ll admit I hate the new matrix It has made night shift, especially really hard on everyone. We are all feeling serious burnout because it seems we are always short staffed. I know that his intentions are good but there has to be a better solution. And my manager knows that. Because of that, he has formed a committee that will help create a new matrix that will benefit everybody. I volunteered to be on the committee because I want to see a change. We meet for the first time this week so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes.