This is a great subject for discussion. In my career as a nurse I have worked on med/surg, critical care & now work in the operating room. In each of theses specialties I have seen first hand the issue of the nursing shortage & how burnout takes it's toll on the staff. As one of the officers of the nurses union where I work I can speak a bit to the specific issue of unsafe staffing.
There have been times when a fellow nurse has refused an assignment due to unsafe staffing, whether it is a factor of numbers, acuity or experience such as being given a patient that you don't have the competencies for (like pediatrics). In each case administration has found other alternatives but generally the nurse then has to deal with the fallout afterward. As a union we represent nurses disciplined by filing a grievance and following it through to what I am happy to say in all of the instances I've seen, a good resolution. This brings me to my point of DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT!
We have an actual unsafe staffing form that the nurse fills out & gives to the supervisor for that shift. This is done whether you take the assignment or refuse it but it is essential to have this in place. In a nonunion setting there are other ways to document it such as letters or emails (make a hard copy of it) to the unit manager or shift supervisor.
I am very thankful that we have a union at our hospital that allows us to act as equals with management when dealing with situations such as unsafe staffing. As nurses we have a responsibility to the people that we care for who are in a very vulnerable position and in some situations can't speak for themselves. It is essential to hold everyone
accountable for safe patient care. That's my 2 cents on that one.
As far as how I bring Druidry into my work that would involve a lot of time & typing to discuss!
I guess I just try to care for people as I would like myself or my loved ones to be cared for. Not to judge or be critical but understanding of where people are coming from and what they need. When I first meet my patients they are going into surgery which can be very scary. Being friendly but professional, honest and clear in my explanations goes a long way towards allaying fears. I After all, knowledge is power & when people are in the hospital they can often times feel just that...powerless. I let them know that I will be right there with them the whole time and will be their advocate & voice for them when they are under anesthesia in everything from ensuring that they are in a safe and comfortable position to ensuring that sterility is maintained throughout their surgery. A good attitude on my part carries over to them and their families as well.
I hope this helps and I look forward to more discussions!