Fighting to Improve Working Conditions with Rasheda Hatchett

Rasheda Hatchett is helping our leaders and organizations understand what nurses need to be resilient and have healthy work environments. Do you want ideas to take back to your own leaders about how to start turning the ship to improve your work life? You will get some strategic tips from Rasheda on how to start the transition for improvement.

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Rasheda Hatchett

Rasheda Hatchett is a nursing leader making every effort to improve the working conditions of the organizations for which we work. Healthcare is a business, but nurses see it differently. We want to care for patients the best that we can, but it can conflict with the actions of the administrators that are removed from what that care entails. Rasheda works with administrators to help them understand how to take care of the healthcare workers that care for the consumers.

Many of us in nursing have worked in toxic environments. It can quickly lead to burnout and possibly poor outcomes for the patients we serve. Rasheda has studied the factors that contribute to negative work environments. What she brings to the table is a wealth of information to share in order to help us get a positive work unit, and hopefully a more satisfying career.

Learn more about supporting the Don’t Eat Your Young Podcast with a membership — visit Don’t Eat Your Young’s membership page!

About Rasheda

Rasheda is an award-winning nurse leader on a mission to help women thrive in the workplace and beyond. She is a Resilience strategist helping organizations build resilient teams that win through her signature programming The Power of Organizational Resilience. Rasheda is a best-selling author and experienced and engaging speaker.

Rasheda’s Links

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1: Welcome to Don’t Eat Your Young, a nursing podcast with your host, Beth Quaas. Before we get started we have a few quick notes. Don’t Eat Your young is a listener-supported podcast. To learn more about becoming a member and the perks available to you for becoming a patron yourself visit patreon.com/donteatyouryoung. You can learn more about the show, share your story to join Beth as a guest or connect with our wonderful community in our Facebook group. You can find all those links and more at donteatyouryoung.com. And now, on with the show.

Beth Quaas: Today, we have Rasheda Hatchett. She is an award-winning nurse leader on a mission to help women thrive in the workplace and beyond. She is a resilient strategist helping organizations build resilient teams that win through her signature programming, The Power of Organizational Resilience. Rasheda is a best-selling author and experienced and engaging speaker. Please welcome Rasheda Hatchett to the show.

Rasheda Hatchett: Thank you so much for having me. I am excited to be here and to chat with you all tonight.

Beth Quaas: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Rasheda Hatchett: Wow, well you kind of gave who I am in a nutshell. I’m a nurse. I’m passionate about nurse wellness, I’m passionate about women’s wellness and all wellness related to how women show up in the world, where we are, the spaces we’re in and how we thrive. So that’s kind of what brings me here and what brought me here is my true heart for the wellness of women and us being in spaces where we’re thriving and not just surviving.

Beth Quaas: I love That. I love that you’re doing that work. So you work with patients now, yet today, and you also work in kind of a unique space. So tell us a little bit about that.

Rasheda Hatchett: For my actual hands on care that I do with patients, I work in adult family homes. So in my state, I’m up in Washington, Seattle, and we have a large adult family home population here because of some legislation about 22 years ago that gave us the opportunity to have clients who need nursing tasks not live in skilled nursing facilities, but they’re able to live in the community. And so for a multitude of reasons, cost being the number one for Medicaid, we were able to put patients in these homes, but they have to have nursing oversight. So I go into the adult family homes and I teach the caregivers nursing tasks, so things like tube feeding, catheter irrigation, things that clients would only be able to have done historically if they were living in a nursing home. And now that they’re able to live in the community, we find that there are better results, better outcomes for the clients, but we also find it’s pretty safe to have CNAs do the work that I would say is some of the easier nursing tasks. It’s okay to have them do that, and it’s been proven to be safe, so that’s what I do.

Beth Quaas: With everything going on in the world today, and we hear so much about not having enough nurses out there in our hospitals to care for patients, do you see more of this coming, what you’re doing now as actual family members and loved ones taking care of the patients?

Rasheda Hatchett: You know, I do. In the adult family home setting, these are homes that are owned by a certified nursing assistant who then gets referrals from all manner of places and takes clients in. Sometimes they are the person’s family members. I’ve got a couple of homes where they actually have their moms in their own homes. But for the most part these are people who don’t all know each other. But I do see that there is a shift in the way that we care for folks. I’ve always felt like it was really unfair that you would pay an outside person to take care of a family member 24 hours a day but you won’t pay the family to take care of their own family member 24 hours a day, as though they have to either have the means or they have to take their mom and put their mom in a home.

Rasheda Hatchett: And it’s so unfair because we know that our geriatric population, they thrive on being at home. Just a slight change in their environment can cause dementia to worsen really quickly. They end up falling more because they’re not familiar with the surroundings. And so we know that it’s not the best place for them to take them and put them somewhere else. If they can stay at home safely, that’s better. So I think that we are going to start to see some shifts and some things open up because one, COVID came. People had to stay home with their family members. I think people are more acutely aware of how much better they feel like their family member has done.

Rasheda Hatchett: I also know that they’re probably more acutely aware of how much work it is and it’s not an easy task at all, right? And so I do think that there’s going to be a bit more around how do we do what’s actually best for these folks? What does that really look like? I think they’re going to start talking to the community about what that looks like and what people really desire. Most people would rather have someone come into the home and take care of their mom than to have that where the mom is even a city away. Sometimes you can’t find an adult family home in your own city.

Beth Quaas: I think that is such a unique way to care for people and I’m so glad that you are sharing what you do, because I think nurses are tired of working for some of these organizations that you’re really just a number, they don’t know who you are, and this unique opportunity, I think, hopefully will resonate with a lot of people that are looking for something new, so thank you for sharing that. I want to now talk about what you do with organizations to help them have a more resilient workplace.

Rasheda Hatchett: So resilience inside education, oh sorry, inside institutions is really my passion. It’s what I love to do. I got into resilience work working as a nurse, I was doing home visits for a program called Nurse Family Partnership and one of the tenets of our program was that we talked about ACEs, and we talked about resilience as a way to confront ACEs, as a way to kind of cure what’s happening and really be able to say, "But you’ve got all these other great things that help you to work through the bad stuff," right? And so not just saying, "Oh my gosh, your ACEs score is really high," and leaving people, but saying, "No, let’s look at your resilience factors."

Rasheda Hatchett: So that’s how I got there and when I left that position and I was nursing in other places I just really began to notice how toxic some places were, how topsy turvy they were, how much they did not look at a top down approach. It was really just day to day. We’re just trying to get through the day. There wasn’t a decision to say, "What does better look like," right? What does better actually look like and how do we implement that? So I began to craft in my mind what this would look like in all of these different dimensions that I was noticing that I came up with and I was like, "We need to fix here. We need to fix there." In doing that I created an entire program. So what that program really does is it helps me to go into organizations and do a full 360 assessment on, what is happening here? What’s going on with your leadership? What’s going on with your teams? What are your policies and procedures? What do they look like? What does it look like in your environment and what does your culture look like? And so I go in and look at all of that and then help them go, "These are the areas where we need some help. These are the areas where this does not promote a culture of resilience," and then, "These are the things that we can do to fix that."

Beth Quaas: That is exactly what we need and who do we need to do it? We need a nurse to do it. Nurses make up the bulk of healthcare workers and we’re tired. We tired of the way that things have been going. What kind of things are you finding that you are telling these organizations, "These are things you should change"? What are the top three?

Rasheda Hatchett: I would say the first one is that they actually have no resilience education, right? So that’s number one. So I didn’t come up with this out of a shoebox that like, "You need to have it." Joint commission has done an entire quick study on like, "You need this," and these are the reasons why. We’ve seen things come out from everywhere, World Health Organization, CDC. Everyone says, "You need this and we need this in healthcare." So that’s one of the things that I’ve seen is that they just don’t have anything that is resilience focus. The second one is that if they do it’s often something that’s in an LMS system, right? And we know what we do with those LMS tests, those-

Beth Quaas: What is LMS?

Rasheda Hatchett: The learning management system. So you’re going in and you’re just on the computer like click, click, click, click, click, done, get the certificate, I’ve completed that, right? We also know, because nurses go through a lot of education, that that’s not everyone’s learning style and it’s actually not most people’s learning style, right? Multiple exposures in multiple different ways to a topic is what helps it stick. So offering a click, click, click training is not going to serve your healthcare staff in the best way. Actually having a person to facilitate conversations around what up leveling your personal resilience looks like, what resilience-based leadership looks like, and then what a resilient culture looks like and how we promote that versus what we currently have, which is our organized chaos that we work in.

Beth Quaas: Right. You talked about organized chaos before. It’s hard to continue working in that. We can sustain for so long, and then it just builds up and now we see where that’s leading.

Rasheda Hatchett: Yeah, yeah. Organized chaos leads to burnout and burnout leads to mass exodus, which is right where we’re at right now, people who are unable to cope because the environment is not changing.

Beth Quaas: And do you think that’s top of the list is the environment?

Rasheda Hatchett: Oh, absolutely. Healthcare, unfortunately, has been broken for a long time. The way that we nurse is not the best way that we could nurse for us, right, for the actual nurse. This is not the best way that we could nurse and because healthcare’s been broken for a long time those of us inside of it are like, "This is terrible and it has to change." People on the outside are just now with COVID getting exposed to what we have been yelling, crying and screaming from the rooftops about within our organizations. But we have not been given a platform and now that we have been given a platform and nurses are saying, "These are the things that are happening on a consistent basis for us." It’s not just us who’s in outrage about it. The public is going, "What the heck?" You guys are dealing with bullying, assaults, the lack of appreciation, things that just don’t makes sense. When I tell people that one year for Nurses Week from a large organization we got a clear trash bag full of popcorn dropped off in the nurses station they are undone, right?

Beth Quaas: I worked at a place that there was a box of crackers in the lounge and it’s said, "Expired but free for staff." Are you kidding me? You’re giving us expired crackers and you think that we feel appreciated by that?

Rasheda Hatchett: Anyway, you’re better off doing nothing, right?

Beth Quaas: Absolutely.

Rasheda Hatchett: So those are the kinds of things that are now becoming regular, every day in-your-home topics. The news stations are doing stories about what we’re dealing with and it’s causing people to go, "Okay, this has got to be fixed. We have to do better." So as much as COVID has been devastating, and it has wreaked havoc in people’s lives, and it has torn families apart, and people have lost loved ones and so many things have happened there have been some other things on the other side of that that have happened. That’s one of my tenets of resilience is that there’s always silver lining. Optimism is always going to let you see that there’s some good, even in the most tragic and traumatic of things. But that’s one of those silver linings that we’re seeing is that nurses are getting a voice.

Beth Quaas: You’re right. We have a voice. We need to be allowed into those C-suite meetings where the decisions are made so that real change can happen that benefits nurses, not benefits the upper organization, which is who you’re trying to educate on what we need. We need to be allowed into those meetings and at those tables.

Rasheda Hatchett: Absolutely. You have got to be consulting with who’s doing the work. You’ve got to be consulting with who is there and at the bedside. Nurses, RTS, CNAs all deserve a seat at the table when it comes to decision making. We spend the very most time with clients of anyone, right? We’re there a whole heck of a lot longer than the doctors and often in our C-suites that’s who makes up the C-suite. It’s the medical doctors who have moved up, and up, and up, and up and up and often the nurses aren’t allowed even in those places, because we haven’t been able to break that ceiling. So there’s a lot of work that’s left to be done in that area, but absolutely, nurses need to be making some of those decisions and being in spaces to say, "This is what we need to move forward." It’s not just about the bottom line. There are other things that play a role in whether or not you are going to keep nurses here or they’re going to run out the door.

Beth Quaas: Which we see happening right now. And not only do we need to be at the table, we need to be trained in how to speak at that table and understand what’s being said, because we don’t get that training in just our regular schooling to be a nurse. We don’t get that. So many people become supervisors, managers, charge nurses without the training and they fail because they don’t know how to do it.

Rasheda Hatchett: And That’s part of what I teach women in my coaching program. So I have a coaching program that is specifically for women who are on the rise, looking to expand and part of what we talk about is how you up level your own leadership, because we get into spaces where we’re thrown into a supervisor position and then a manager position with no formal training on what it looks like to supervise and manage other human beings and then we’re faulted for when the ship sinks or it’s topsy turvy. And so I say it doesn’t exist for a lot of women. They don’t get that opportunity, especially in nursing. A lot of the women that I work with are nurses and they come to me because they want to learn how to use their voice, how to confidently speak in a boardroom, how to be able to express their organizational value, because that’s not something that women are taught. We’re not taught to express our organizational value. We’re always taught to be quiet and in the corner, because you should be lucky to even be in the room, right? Wasn’t long ago that you were only invited here to take notes and so now that you’re here as a contributing member we would like for you to contribute as least as possible.

Beth Quaas: Right. We joke that we already have two strikes against us, number one we’re a woman and number two we’re a nurse. And so it’s hard for us to be taken seriously and that’s why talking about these things, I hope, is going to continue to improve that culture within our profession.

Rasheda Hatchett: Yeah, and that’s part of why I do what I do. I really started with just wanting to work with organizations and then there was this huge need that nurses were saying, "I need to know how to speak up, because every time I try someone shoots me down, or I get these looks in the room or I don’t speak loud enough or confidently enough and nobody cares about what I’m saying, but I’m really giving good information. I’m really telling them like, ‘This is what we need.’ How do I do that?" And that’s how my coaching program was even born was because nurses were saying, "Do you do anything specifically to help me get better at this and feel more confident when I go into these spaces because I’m getting nowhere with upper level management?"

Beth Quaas: So who is your audience that you cater to to come in and how is your program run?

Rasheda Hatchett: I cater to women who are either new to leadership, they’re moving into a different leadership role or they’re really looking to hone their craft. There’s some things, some blind spots that they have they’re really looking to get better at. And so I work with women who are all in the kind of I’m I’m up leveling space and what we do is we meet weekly for live, all together, really supporting one another, and then I’m talking about one of the tenets of my program during that week. And we’re really digging into a topic and letting women share where they’ve been, what’s happening for them, What shows up for them at work, the spaces where they’re like, "I am not great at this. I really need to grow." And then we work one on one in private coaching sessions to work through some of those things, and to create goals around how we move forward and then I hold them accountable, of course.

Beth Quaas: I was going to say, I have taken courses, and I’ve been in on coachings and what you offer, for you to offer live training, number one, and one on one coaching is amazing. I think it is one of the only ways when you’re held accountable that you actually take action.

Rasheda Hatchett: Yeah. I had no desire to offer an LMS system, like course, right, like this is a course that you could just buy. I do have things like that for people who are like, "I’m just on the go and I want to just gather some information quickly." So there are those, but people who come into my program … My program is called Audacity To Thrive and it’s that way on purpose. I want the women in my circle to know that they can be audacious, They can be walking in their own authority. They know what they know what they know and they get to stand on that and not shrink because other people believe that because they’re a woman, because they’re a brown-skinned woman that they shouldn’t be talking. So I am really working with women to say, "This is how you do this and these are the tools that you need to do this."

Rasheda Hatchett: We role play. They’ll ask me all the time, "How do I say that?" And I’m like, "Oh, wonderful, let’s role play." And so oftentimes we giggle and they’re like, "Did somebody write all of that down?" And then one of my ladies will go, "She’s recording. We’ll be able to write it down and take a snippet of it and have it." But it really does help them to know that when they walk into a room they can stand firm in who they are and be able to share who they are, what their ideas are, and really give value when they hit the room and also to be able to take so much of the accolades that come from that and to be able to own that you do great work.

Beth Quaas: What you’re doing is such important work, especially now, because, like we said, we need people at those tables and we need them to be able to be taken seriously and for someone to listen, because they are the ones that have the information that needs to be shared.

Rasheda Hatchett: Absolutely.

Beth Quaas: I love that.

Rasheda Hatchett: Thank you.

Beth Quaas: So are You doing a little bit of both then? Are you still consulting with organizations and then working with new and emerging leaders?

Rasheda Hatchett: Oh yeah, and still doing my patient care adult family homes. Yes, I’m still doing all of it. It’s what I love. Certainly there will be a point of pairing, but I will never pair off working directly with women. That is my heart. That’s the heart and soul of what I do. It is truly my calling. I love it. So that part I will always do in some way, shape or form. It’s exciting to just be in a space where you can affect people’s lives and then looking at how you are affecting the people that they’re affecting, like the trickle down of that. Oh, it’s beautiful.

Beth Quaas: That is perfect. Does someone call you and say, "Hey, we want you to come into our organization and help us improve morale"? Is that how you’re found or do you reach out to organizations?

Rasheda Hatchett: It’s a bit of both. So developing relationships is really the best thing, really talking to people and saying, "What is it that you need right now to support you, to support your team, to support your nurses, to support your staff?" Because I’m also in the corporate space as well. "What does that look like for you? What do you need?" And so it really is conversation. And then there are some people that totally find me out of the blue and then there are other people who are like, "Someone heard you speak and we need help." So it’s kind of a mixed bag and I always ask this now standard question, "How did you find me?" Because sometimes it’s really the most interesting one off and you’re like, "How in the world? I didn’t even know that I was there, but glad you found me." So yeah, it’s a bit of a mixture of all of that. But yeah, you just get in there and people are hungry. People who are searching for solutions are hungry for something that’s going to stick and often they’ve tried something and it hasn’t worked or it was a Band-Aid, right?

Beth Quaas: Yes.

Rasheda Hatchett: It was a bandaid. Healthcare’s big on that. I know that’s why you laughed, Beth, because healthcare’s huge on Band-Aids, right? We’re watching these $40,000 sign-on bonuses and using travel nurses, so many of them and I’m like, "This is not sustainable. This is not sustainable. These are Band-Aids. You’ve got a mass exodus because there’s a problem in your organization, not because people just don’t like the area, that’s a not it."

Beth Quaas: Well, I’ve been in nursing for close to 30 years and I’ve seen people come in, "Yep, we’re having a consulting group come in, and they’re going to change everything," and nothing changes because the organizations don’t find value in it. The problem is now with social media everyone’s sharing the problems at their organizations. And so they can offer the big sign-on bonuses, but, "Oh no, we already know about you and what’s going on at your organization," so they’re really having to step it up.

Rasheda Hatchett: Exactly. They’re watching that they’ve offered a $40,000 sign-on bonus and they’re still not getting anybody to bite because your culture is toxic. You can’t offer me any amount of money to sacrifice my peace and that’s a place where nurses are getting. A lot of people have been in those places in other sectors and nursing has just stayed. We grind it out. I mean, we’re taking care of people. We’re currently saving the world. There are nurses saving lives right now as we speak. What more important work is there to be done than saving lives 12 hours a day, right? So we’re doing that all the time and as we’re doing this, as we’re in here, we’re going, "There’s got to be a better way. There’s got to be a better way. There’s got to be a better way." And some of the things are on us for some things that are not working in healthcare that we don’t want to give up. The 12-hour shift is one of them. I know you guys are going to crucify me because all nurses love this three days a week, but the 12-hour shift does not work long term. It’s too hard on the body. It doesn’t promote wellness.

Beth Quaas: You’re not the only person I’ve heard say that. I’ve heard a lot of other people say that same thing.

Rasheda Hatchett: Yeah. We think that it promotes work-life harmony and it doesn’t, it doesn’t. You spend an entire day sleeping. Let me say this, once you get past 30 you spend an entire day sleeping to recover from your three days on. It feels great in your twenties, like, "This is amazing. I don’t even have take vacation. I’m off four days. I’ll string these four days together, maybe add one or two more to it and then I’ve got a full vacation." As we begin to age and our bodies are tired, they’ve been beat up … Nursing beats your body up. Your back is hurting, Your feet hurt, your knees ain’t right, your hip’s bad, right? We know what it does. As that begins to happen that 12-hour shift is a lot harder to get through and it’s a lot longer recovery, right? So we got to be willing to make some concessions but we know the 12-hour shift works for the hospital systems because it’s cheaper, right? It’s cheaper to have two nurses in 24 hours rather than having three that all need benefit packages.

Beth Quaas: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Interestingly, when we talk about money and finances, I read something that nurses want to be paid more and this is what’s going to crush our healthcare system and I thought, "Oh no, no, don’t blame nurses for that." We’re not the cause of the healthcare crisis. We’re not the cause of financial ruin for hospitals. It is so many more things and that just struck something in me that they’re just asking for what they deserve.

Rasheda Hatchett: Absolutely. Nurses are asking for what they deserve. When you walk into a hospital system and you look at your physicians, your surgeons, we know our surgeons make the very most money of all of the specialties of doctors, when you look at that and you’re looking at a medical doctor that’s able to make a salary that’s two, or three or sometimes four times what a nurse makes, and you’re looking at the work that the nurse is doing, and as much as we can only give nursing diagnoses, right? Our scope of practices, nursing diagnoses, we’re not able to give medical diagnosis. We have to give what’s ordered by a provider. We know that we call providers all the time and tell them what to order, because we’ve already done what we had to do to save somebody’s life or to deliver a baby, right? We know the reality of what happens inside of a hospital is that we’re often calling after the fact to say, "Hey, I had to do X, Y, Z. I need you to put orders in for that." So I know I just exposed the healthcare system, exposed.

Beth Quaas: but every nurse knows that.

Rasheda Hatchett: Right? Every nurse knows it. We all know it. We have to communicate with doctors in SBAR, situation, background, assessment and recommendation. I ask the provider for what I need and the provider either says, "Tell me more, yes," or "Tell me more. Let’s try this instead," right? If we called a doctor and didn’t have a recommendation they would eat us alive. They’re like, "What do you want me to do?" And you can go back and say, "Well, you’re the doctor. What do you want to do?" And they’re like, "you’re with the patient. What do you want me to do? What do you want me to order? It’s 2:00 AM, tell me what you want," right? Happens to all of us.

Rasheda Hatchett: And when you see that from the inside and she’s asking for dollars extra an hour for all the work that’s being done, I can’t understand the pushback. I can’t understand why you would ever want to sacrifice being exposed in a way that now healthcare has been exposed. Healthcare has been exposed that there’s a lot that’s happening that nurses are doing and we deserve to be paid well. You now can’t tell me you can’t pay well because you have 87 travelers that are making 6,000 a week, right? And when you see things like nurses leaving their hospital to go work for the travel agency to be assigned to the same hospital that they quit last week so that they can make a more livable wage, how does that not clue you to something is out of whack?

Beth Quaas: And really it’s disrespectful to those people that are working in those jobs, that get nothing extra and they’re [inaudible 00:31:23] … And travel nursing is hard. I’m not taking away from travel nursing and good for those that are out doing it, but you have to take care of the people that were already there. We’re not seeing that and it’s just not right.

Rasheda Hatchett: It’s not. We’re seeing it now with the cell phone companies. This is how take care of the people you already have has just trickled down to the rest of the world and healthcare still hasn’t gotten it. It used to be you went into a cell phone company, if you were a brand new customer you got the shiny phone and you paid zero for it, and if you were an existing customer they offered you the most terrible phone at $0 and if you wanted the shiny one you had to pay some exuberant amount of money. They stopped doing it because you cannot retain people that way. People were cell phone company hopping. You could take your number and then just go to a different company.

Rasheda Hatchett: Nurses are doing the same thing. I’m going to take my skillset, I’m taking my talents to South Beach, and I’m just going to go to a different hospital that’s going to now pay me the sign on bonus, and give me more money, and then I’m just going to go to another one after that, and then another one after that. They’re not creating any longevity because you will pay the people coming in a better wage than what you pay the people who are currently doing the work. And what does that feel like for someone who’s been in your hospital, a nurse for 10 years making $35 an hour? You hire a brand new grad out of school at $37 an hour. Are you kidding me?

Beth Quaas: And it’s happening.

Rasheda Hatchett: And then you ask me to be their preceptor? Are you serious?

Beth Quaas: Where do they think don’t eat your young came from, right?

Rasheda Hatchett: Right.

Beth Quaas: There’s a lot of reasons why it happens.

Rasheda Hatchett: There’s so many reasons why it happens. There’s so many reasons for that. A lot of it is saving our young nurses from the providers that are going to eat them. So if I yell at you first at least you won’t get totally disrespected by a provider because we know that that has been historically a huge power struggle, right?

Beth Quaas: Right.

Rasheda Hatchett: So there’s some of that that it’s like, "Listen, you’d rather get it from me than get it from them. Just trust me on this," right? Then another piece of it is lives are at stake, and so you need to get this right or else people die. And then there’s the parts of it that are our system has decided that it values new and shiny a lot more than loyalty and trusted.

Beth Quaas: And experience. You can’t get that experience from … I tell you, I really feel for the people and I’ll just use a group of ICU nurses that I’ve known for many years. I would let them take care of me any second of the day, and they’re amazing and they could save my life a hundred times over. They’re seeing these people come in making a boatload of money yet they’re sticking it out, and they’re coming to work every day, and they’re doing their job and that must be kind of crushing on your soul.

Rasheda Hatchett: Has to be. Can you imagine watching travel nurses coming in making $10,000 a week and you can’t even get to 10,000 a month. You’re currently sitting at $7,000 a month while you’re watching a travel nurse come in and do the same job you’re doing for 10,000 a week.

Beth Quaas: So something’s got to change and I know you’re the one that’s starting that. You’re starting the change and I thank you for that.

Rasheda Hatchett: Thank you, thank you, yeah, a lot has to change.

Beth Quaas: Absolutely. Well, we’re starting the change right now.

Rasheda Hatchett: Yes, we are starting the change and I think we are on the precipice of this landscape will not look the same. I think that there are a lot of new and innovative things that are coming out of nursing and watching the types of nursing entrepreneurs that are coming up, and the types of businesses that they are starting and the solutions that they’re providing for these huge problems and I’m going, "Oh, it’s beautiful." It also reminds me that we have to keep nurses at the bedside. Someone has to do that work. We can’t all leave. We can’t all leave. Part of my work is to keep nurses at the bedside, to give them the amount of resilience that they need to have a lasting career in nursing, to help them cultivate that on an individual basis.

Rasheda Hatchett: That’s what nursing is all about. It’s about being there with the patients, there holding their hands in the best of times, in the worst of times. It’s about that but no one prepares nurses for the amount of resilience that they need in order to do this day in and day out. No human can watch people die, and watch suffering, and to watch pain and grief in the way that we do and then 15 minutes later, "Oh, you’re patient … You expired. You’ve got another one because Jenny’s got five, so you’re taking one of hers and that’s all we get. "This is your job, just do it," and they’ve forgotten that we’re humans. The loss of life, no matter if we knew the person or we didn’t, loss of life affects us the way it’s supposed to, it hurts.

Beth Quaas: Absolutely, and it sticks with you forever.

Rasheda Hatchett: And it stays, especially when you lose someone that you weren’t supposed to lose.

Beth Quaas: Right.

Rasheda Hatchett: Right? You lose someone and you’re like, "But they were just talking to me. They were just healthy. We were talking about putting them in the step down. They were going down to med/surg. What happened? It’s traumatic and we get nothing to cope. We don’t get a day off. We don’t get an extra mental health professional that’s there. Why don’t we have mental health professionals on the floor, in the hospital readily available to help our nursing staff who are in the midst of losing people and they just can’t figure out what to do? We’ve all cried when we’ve lost a patient and lost it, like hysterically cried when we lost a patient and yet there’s nothing for us.

Beth Quaas: Go about your day, finish your shift. You don’t get a break.

Rasheda Hatchett: No. Another nurse comes over and consoles us because she knows or he knows what we’re dealing with and that’s all we get. Why?

Beth Quaas: That is so true.

Rasheda Hatchett: It will change. We are forcing the healthcare system’s hand at this point. We’ve exposed so much of their dirty laundry and we’ve decided as nurses that we are going to continue to expose their dirty laundry until they listen, until it hits them, and it hurts and requires them to make change. I love it because nobody ever got anything done being quiet. Make all the noise you can to further your cause, and so we’re here making noise and I am absolutely here for it.

Beth Quaas: You are a force to be reckoned with and I absolutely love what you’re doing. I am so happy to have met you, and had you come on and I cannot wait for more people to hear this because I am just so much more inspired after talking to you. I want this to go out to so many people, especially those nurses struggling at the bedside, struggling in those busy clinics, struggling in those skilled nursing facilities that they don’t have anyone helping them and just know we’re here for them. We want to help them. We want to be your voice and help us get the story out.

Rasheda Hatchett: Thank you so much. I so enjoyed talking with you and really helping to shed some light on what’s happening for us and to light the way for others that you can use your voice. You can use your voice and you can speak up and say, "This needs to change. We deserve better." People are listening and they need to hear your voice.

Beth Quaas: Absolutely. I thank you so much, Rasheda, for coming on. You can find Rasheda. All the links to where you can find her will be in the show notes. Please check her out, support her. She is someone that is helping us change nursing for the better and I appreciate it. Thanks, Rasheda, for being here today.

Rasheda Hatchett: Thank you so much for having me.

Speaker 1: Don’t Eat Your Young was produced in partnership with TruStory FM, engineering by Andy Nelson, music by The Lighthearts. Find the show, show notes and transcripts at donateyouryoung.com. If your podcast app allows ratings and reviews, please consider doing that for our show, but the best thing you could do to support the show is to share it with a friend or colleague. Thank you for listening.

Stories from the Incredible World of Nursing.

Welcome to Don’t Eat Your Young, the podcast that brings you stories from the trenches of the incredible, wonderful, exhausting, terrifying, joyous world of nursing with your host, Beth Quaas.