With the shortage of nurses, we have seen an increase in the marketing for fresh meat, I mean, those of the nursing persuasion. It used to be, jobs were listed in the paper. Now, you see and hear ads on television and radio aimed exclusively at nurses.
Yay us. Nurses rule. You drool.
I find it interesting how some facilities market themselves to appeal to the nursing demographic. It's not enough to just say, "Come work with us. We're a nifty place to work." Knowing that having a nursing license makes us a hot commodity, we need a little more to go on besides "nifty". Through the passing of time, I have taken particular note of some of the marketing ploys designed to make us want to go have a nervous breakdown at particular facilities.
Hospital #1: They tell me that working for them is such a great thing because they will celebrate my birthday. Huh? Any nurse worth his/her salt will have had red alarms going off upon hearing this. If this is the best thing they can come up with to entice nurses, this isn't good. In fact, any nurse worth their salt should run screaming in the other direction. If the only good thing you can think of that would make me want to work there is the fact that you are going to bust out a birthday cake for me, you have a crappy facility. "Well...you're going to work short all the time...and take a huge patient load that will jeopardize your license on a regular basis. We don't pay as much as some of the other hospitals will pay you...and you are going to be treated like second class citizens by the doctors and higher-ups. You are going to dread coming to work, but hey! We're going to celebrate your birthday, which really won't be on your birthday because you will have taken the night off so you can go and get totally shitfaced so you can forget you even work here."
Hospital #2: If you come and work for this place, they will give you a big sign-on cash bonus. Again, any nurse with half a brain will tell you this isn't necessarily a good thing. If a facility has to shell out big dollars just to get you in the door, this tells you that the facility sucks. Usually short-staffed, crappy patient load, and equipment that dates back before the first computer was ever built. If you are lucky, you may get to see how they used to wash bedpans by hand and re-use them, or sharpen their own needles. What they don't tell you is that if you are going to get the fatty sign-on bonus, you also get the fatty contract you have to sign that sentences you to indentured servitude for 3-5 years. That's 3-5 years working in a job you are going to hate in a matter of months. Oh well, at least you got that bonus! Spend wisely.
Hospital #3: A long line of boring sea foam green scrub jackets and one scrub jacket so hideous that it looks like someone barfed on it. Apparently, this hospital not only allows you to wear ugly scrubs, they also encourage it. "Find Yourself" they say. If I were to wear that fugly jacket, I wouldn't be too hard to locate.
Hospital #4: Catholic nuns are telling me that I should come work for their hospital because they say it's good and everyone knows that Catholics don't lie. If I go to work for them, I get first dibs on going to heaven because to work for the Catholic hospital, is to be working for God himself. Just don't mention birth control to your patients. That will earn you either a write-up, a termination, and/or a first class ticket to eternal damnation.
Hospital #5: This facility's angle is that they are community based in a nice community in the land of milk and honey (i.e. Johnson County). The underlying message once you weed through the idea that working here is like working in Heaven: "If you work here, you won't have to deal with the poor riff-raff that those inner city hospitals have to take care of. Heaven forbid you actually touch one of these undesirables!! Of course, you won't get to see much aside from tennis elbow, and the standard STDs, and that rash that you get when you scrog in a hot tub...but isn't that better than having to care for a homeless guy? Not to mention you won't have to deal with anything horribly complicated...we transfer all those to the inner city hospitals."
Hospital #6: You haven't heard an ad from this hospital because they have no money to spend on marketing for nurses. They rely entirely on word of mouth. Not to mention, this hospital is where you go when nobody else will hire you. Upside: by surviving this place, you can easily work in a combat zone in Iraq. Downside: you routinely get shot at during your lunch break.
Hospital #7: Like kids? Work here!! You can read them kiddie stories, tuck them in with a teddy bear at night, and rainbows will magically shoot out of your ass because everything is so magical when children are involved. But you can't beat on the parents who abuse their kids. Or yell at them when they just dump their kids off so they can be kid-free for the weekend. But you still have rainbows!!
I know nurses who work all over the metro. For the most part, they like their jobs. So, it all comes down to personal tolerance threshold, what you can and can't handle as a nurse. What is cake for someone, is hell on earth for someone else. Sort of like the doc who practices in proctology and enjoys it, and the other docs who would rather do my job than play in someone's toot-hole professionally.
So, this is my take on the marketing for nurses. I bet you're going to listen more closely next time one of these commercials come on. Heard a funny one I haven't? Let me know and I can translate for you.