There is a nationwide shortage of medical personnel. It is so bad in some specialties that pay is going through the roof. Emergency room nurses are making sky high bonuses in order to pick up extra days. Right now, if you are willing to pick up extra days, my hospital will pay you double time plus a bonus to come to work. Technicians like respiratory therapists are getting a bonus of $500 to come to work. Registered nurses are getting bonuses of $1,000 to $1,500.
I know nurses who are making $30,000 a month, although that is an extreme case. They are working more than 80 hours a week to do it, but it can be done. Most nurses are working 50 or so hours a week, and making somewhere around $13,000 a month. Even with that, we never have enough people.
These jobs are demanding jobs that require education, critical thinking skills, psychomotor skills, the ability to think quickly in stressful situations, and the ability to make life altering decisions in a fast paced environment. All with zero errors, hundreds of times per day, 12+ hours per day. Skills like that cost money. It’s money that hospitals are tired of paying.
So how are hospitals fixing it? They are importing nurses from the Philippines. The hospitals can force salaries lower by importing nurses from third world countries and paying them far less than their US counterparts. The average Filipino nurse makes less than $4,000 a month.
We have a mandatory meeting with management next week, where rumor has it we are being told that much of our staff will be replaced with foreign workers beginning in January.
This isn’t a slam on the nurses. They are well educated, with some of them even being licensed as doctors in their own country. What sucks is that you spend years becoming experienced and educated only to see your employer bring in people from other countries to do your job at a fraction of the pay.