striking nurses - page 2

by amandasdad

14,727 Views | 41 Comments

my 2 yo daughter was severely "damaged" because of a nursing strike. We were 2 weeks post op from open heart surgery. She went downhill fast one day. At hospital, we crossed the line to get her cared for. We ended up in ped.... Read More


  1. 5
    Quote from embarrasingfield
    Its just such a horror of our times that the public honestly thinks poor patient care results soley from a nurses strike. The buck always stops with the RN, right?? If anyone is to blame for anything, it most certainly is the nurse.
    I have to agree wth you. I was really upset with the OP's post but didn't post how I really felt because I didn't want to be flamed. I know his post is written out of grief.

    What bothered me most about the OP was the blame being placed on the nurses who were striking. Every other industry in this country, it seems it's ok for them to strike but not nurses. It seems that we are expected to put up with poor working conditions, poor pay, poor benefits, less than flexible working hours.

    What the public doesn't realize is with the patient load that we are expected to work with, being at the patient's bedside at all times is not always easy. I can recall several sentinal events that occured because the nurse was busy with another patient and wasn't able to check on their other patients. We do our best with what we have. We can't be expected to take the sole responsibility for every bad outcome that happens. If there is anyone to blame it's the administration that runs the hospital.

    I'm sure there is more to the OP's story but we only have his side, not the nurses that were working on that unit. Not the nurses that were on strike. We will never know. I'm very sorry for what happened to his daughter.
    Last edit by RN1982 on Jul 15, '08
  2. 3
    I agree with what you are saying 100%. I naturally feel very much compassion for the situation of loss.

    But conditions get worse and worse for nurses both legally and physically (with more and more exposure to bugs, no matter how much protection you use, etc). And yet most people still view nurses as another version of their mother, a person who is going to take care of their every whim and that noone else matters and that the nurse has nothing else to do.

    People may gripe somewhat about physicians, but very rarely do they actually blame them for care issues. However, they WILL tell the physician any slight little things they didn't like about the nursing , which continues to feed into the gulf between Nurses and doctors. The doctors continue with their views of incompentcy while the Nurses are working in ridiculously unsafe environments and noone really cares.

    God bless all and every male nurse involved in strikes. They are the ones most listened to by all entities.

    Am I bitter?

    Nope, I'm just calling it what it is.
    lindarn, RN1982, and RN1989 like this.
  3. 2
    After a while all these complaints about nursing gets old. I challenge some of these people to work a shift or two. They'll sit there and say that we are the backbone and that they could never do what we do but gee, when something goes wrong the first people they blame are the nurses.
    embarrasingfield and lindarn like this.
  4. 6
    Quote from amandasdad
    my 2 yo daughter was severely "damaged" because of a nursing strike. We were 2 weeks post op from open heart surgery. She went downhill fast one day. At hospital, we crossed the line to get her cared for. We ended up in ped. icu where they did their best. But they were lost. Where is this? Where is that? I watched from the hall as amandas ekg flat lined and the team scrambled to help. She came back, but she is not the same with all the brain damage. No I cant blame it all on the strike. I know that. But in my heart, I know that "things" could have been done faster better by the staff that were outside making their demands known. That was 21 years ago. It is the first time that I have said anything about watching my daughter die and come back. My hands are shaking. My throat hurts from the lump in it. Strikes suck.
    I'm so very sorry about your daughter. I hear your angst and sadness as you endure a life time of pain. As a nurse who cares very much about professional nursing practice and patient advocacy, I'm angry you've suffered because of a hospital system that is apparently escaping accountability (in your eyes) for creating the working conditions that led to the strike. John Greenleaf Whittier said it best, "For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been’."

    Please don't misplace your blame on the nurses who felt compelled to strike. A strike is a last resort, voted on and supported by the overwhelming majority of the nurses in a facility. Nurses have a duty to protest unsafe conditions and take their advocacy to the streets in order to alert the public when their concerns fall on deaf ears. The hospital had plenty of notice and opportunity to correct the unsafe conditions that caused nurses to strike. Often the management's bottom line budgets take priority over the needs of patients for safe staffing. If the nurses are on the outside, there's something very wrong on the inside, and the public has a right to know.

    Hospitals and nursing management are responsible for validating the competency and orienting all the nurses that they employ. Nursing managers are supposed to be competent to provide for the care of the patients in each unit that the supervise; otherwise they are not competent to supervise and evaluate the care being provided. The scabs hired by the hospital should have had the competency needed to intervene in a timely manner, but you could be right. You probably trusted the hospital to do the right thing, however hospitals cut corners, skimp on staffing and orientation programs in order to maximize their profits, which often comes at the expense of patients like your daughter. Did you involve an attorney or a regulatory agency, like the Department of Public Health?

    This may not help your daughter recover but it could help prevent other tragedy. Check to see if your legislature is going to support and pass minimum, safe nurse-to- patient ratios, including a mandate for hospital management to "staff up" based on the acuity of the patients, with an appropriate consideration for the experience of the staff and the sophistication of care/technology.

    California Nurses Association nurses successfully passed the first in the nation, nurse to patient ratios, despite heavy resistance from the hospital associations. Several other states who have nurses affiliated with the CNA/National Nurses Organizing Committee have introduced ratio legislation.
    http://www.calnurses.org/nursing-pra...ios_index.html
    http://www.calnurses.org/nnoc/
    The hospital associations and the executive nurses were against it; the direct care, bedside nurses were for it, because it was in the exclusive interests of their patients!

    If nurses can do their job well, and management creates the environment where nursing practice can succeed in providing safe, therapeutic, and effective care, then most strikes can be avoided.
  5. 5
    "" the hospital had plenty of notice and opportunity to correct the unsafe conditions that caused nurses to strike. often the [font=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif][font=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif]management's[/font][/font] bottom line budgets take priority over the needs of patients for safe staffing. if the nurses are on the outside, there's something very wrong on the inside, and the public has a right to know.""

    i love this last sentence, it says it all.
  6. 0
    Quote from RN1989
    I am not really sure why you are posting on this site. I understand that you have many stressors and have been dealt what you feel is an unfair hand in life.

    Nurses strike because there are problems with the system. Striking has been one of the few ways that nurses have been able to force facilities to act in a responsible manner and improve the conditions of the hospital that relate to patient safey.

    This forum is really not the place for you to work through your issues. This forum deals with many things that nurses encounter on a daily basis. Many of the things that occur on this forum would be misconstrued by the general public. I recommend that you find a counselor to help you deal with your grief in an appropriate manner.
    Bollix, or so the phrase goes. The OP is entitled to an opinion, which I do not happen to share. The OP sounds like a Kipper, and that explains a lot.
  7. 1
    Hmmm... What's a kipper?
    bossynurse101 likes this.
  8. 1
    Nurses should never strike. My belief is that nurses are and should be above cheap theatrical,political, unionized striking ploys. Strikes truly never solve anything. All the great advances in nursing as a profession would have come about with or without strikes. Simply because the world itself is changing.
    RN4MERCY likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from Stanley-RN2B
    Hmmm... What's a kipper?

    Sigh. So glad you asked it, I wasnt sure if it was a dumb question . . . answers anyone?
  10. 1
    Quote from Iam46yearsold
    Nurses should never strike. My belief is that nurses are and should be above cheap theatrical,political, unionized striking ploys. Strikes truly never solve anything. All the great advances in nursing as a profession would have come about with or without strikes. Simply because the world itself is changing.
    Unions work! If you're not at the table, you don't have a say. Getting involved, in a democratic all RN union makes our profession stronger and protects our ability to advocate for patient safety. Nurses can obtain dignity, equity and power to change terrible working conditions that create unsafe care environments and drive nurses from the profession such as long hours, disparate pay, and health risks. Through out history, the government did little to limit these injustices, and in the United States, along with much of the industrialized world, labor movements developed that lobbied for better rights and safer conditions.

    The majority of our contract fights are settled without strikes. The CEOs and executives of your hospitals have contracts, so why shouldn't the nurses? Nurses have a duty to act to change circumstances that are against the interests of their patients. If nurses are on the outside, there's something wrong on the inside. The public has a right to know. Check out some nursing history. Since the inception of the profession in the United States, nurses like Lillian Wald and Lavinia Dock walked picket lines to advocate for worker safety, child labor laws, women's suffrage, and immigrant rights.

    Lavinia Dock advocated for nurses to join unions so that nurses wouldn't be accomplices in their own subordination to the male dominated heirarchy in hospitals.
    lindarn likes this.


Top