“It’s not my job…”
How many times have we heard this going in and out of nursing homes? We go in to pick up a patient and when we ask for paperwork, the bored CNA or LPN at the desk says:
“It’s not my job to do that…”
“I’m from another floor…”
“That’s not my patient…”
“I’m going on break so I’m not going to…”
When the patient is completely soiled and smells like they’ve been laying in their own pee for three weeks:
“I don’t know. Not my job to clean up…”
“Not my patient, not my problem…”
We hear it ALL the time! Day in and day out we go into so-called ‘Skilled Nursing Facilities’ and it seems like no one has a job or job responsibilities because they all say, “It’s not my job.” We vent and whine about how horrible the facilities and staff are because they never seem like they ever do anything. It’s always, “It’s not my job.” We could all sit around a bonfire and compare ‘It’s not my job’ stories until the end of time and we still wouldn’t run out of them. When we are all little old Paramedics and EMTs, our EMS Family will still have ‘It’s not my job’ stories. We all hate it when people say it to us.
I was looking through Facebook and a posting came up about weighing Dialysis patients. There were over fifty comments about this task and the majority of them said, “It’s not my job to weigh the patient!” Here are some of the comments:
“Patient’s being weighed have NOTHING to do with my job.”
“Biggest pain in the butt and not my crews’ responsibility.”
“This falls under the huge realm of ‘Not My Problem’.”
“It’s not my job to weigh your $#%^&(*$ patient!”
“I sure as #$^& ain’t weighing nobody.”
We complain all the time that we deserve to be paid better. We bitch that it’s unfair that we aren’t respected by our medical peers. We want respect that we feel we are owed and deserve.
We aren’t going to get it with the ‘It’s not my job’ mentality. We aren’t going to get it by making comments like that. Patient care IS your job. No more excuses. Excuses show that you are too lazy or unmotivated to actually do something about it. I was a Transport Medic for two years and because of my start time, I got the dialysis shuffle. Guess what I did? I weighed my freaking patients! Two minutes on the Stryker website gave me the weight for my stretcher. We double checked it on the dialysis floor scale to be sure and it was spot on. I then took a sharpie and, with permission from my boss, wrote the weight on the stretcher. When we appeared with a patient, all we had to do was roll onto the scale, take off the extra crap, and we had an accurate weight. This took me all of 5 minutes! This was better than having to wait for a wheelchair or dialysis chair to appear, get the patient off the stretcher, and then wait for staff to weigh the patient. Why wait 15 minutes for someone to do something when you can do it yourself and be done much quicker?
Unfortunately, the ‘It’s not my job’ mentality is running rampant through EMS. I work in an ER as a Medic and I see EMS crews come in and out all day long. Routinely, they come in and something is amiss and when asked we hear, “Uh…not my job.” Uh…yes it is. It is your job to do a proper handoff. It is your job to make sure you have the right equipment for a transport. It is your job to ensure proper patient care. At the station, it is your job to keep the trucks clean and station tidy…not just a task you push off onto a lower ranked crew member or for someone else to do. We need to make it our job.
We keep asking for better pay, but do we deserve it? Why do we deserve better pay if we aren’t willing to show our value? Making excuses like, ‘I don’t know how to accurately weigh a patient so I’m not going to do it’ shows we can’t be trusted with a wider scope. If we are unable to get a weight on a patient because we can’t be accurate…how can we expect people to believe that we can be accurate when giving medications? If we are unable to do something as simple as weigh a patient, how can we do something complicated like Intubation or reading an EKG? We are devaluing ourselves by constantly saying the little things aren’t our job. If we can’t do the simple things due to (insert stupid excuse here) how can we be expected to do the hard things?
We need to step back and take a long, hard look at our culture and mentality. We need to start showing why we are valuable and irreplaceable. We need to step up and prove our worth. Want higher pay? Earn it. Want more responsibility? Earn it. We need to stop proving our naysayers right! We are rapidly reaching the point where the mention of a Paramedic or EMT will be met by the same sigh, eye roll, and sneer that talking about a CNA or LPN causes. If the ‘It’s not my job’ mentality continues, we don’t deserve higher pay. We don’t deserve the respect that so many before us worked so hard to get. We deserve to be treated the same way we treat those who say, “It’s not my job.”
Have fun and Be Safe,