Quote from Diane-RN in Michigan
With all due respect, WHEN you are an RN "working in the trenches" continually short staffed (compromising pt safety), you may feel differently.
An uber-union isn't going to fix patient safety. We're still going to be squeezed. The only difference is that we will lose the power to do anything about it. We'll not have the option of fighting or changing employers. The union will tell us what we can and can't do at work. If there is a problem with patient safety that is not our responsibility per the union contract and we try to address it, we'll find ourselves out of work with no place to go. Oh they'll be nice about it. They'll give us a transfer to some neglected clinic in southwestern Alaska.
I am not opposed to unions. What I am opposed to is a work environment where there is a single employer, a single union, and no room for individual voices/choices. The original purpose of unions was to represent workers in a one employer environment. It's a best option response to a really bad employment situation. Workers enjoy much more power when they can leave a job they do not like. In this respect, anti-trust laws are great. Our present economic problems would not exist if businesses had not been allowed to grow too large to fail. When all we have is government or quasi governmental businesses...ultimately the country will fail. We've seen it happen...Innovation goes out the window too. Without the profit motive or the flexibility to make ones job easier (can't do it that way, it's not in the book), nothing changes until the whole mess collapses under it's own weight.
As for the present. If a staffing shortage compromises patient safety, surely the nurse involved will document it. Otherwise, how is anyone to know there is a problem.