Quote from brandy1017
I don't understand why the union is allowing the hospital to give the nurses so many patients. That is too much, no wonder you are stressed out. The union should be getting the patient ratio down to a safe level 5 or 6 at most!
Definitely start looking for a new job, don't stick it out with this place anymore than you have to. The union is useless and the hospital doesn't respect its staff or patients with those type of ratio's. I'm sure they have high turnover! You now have experience and I doubt another hospital would be as bad as the one you are currently in so start interviewing other places and quit this place ASAP!
Unions don't have near the power that people think they do. Sure they can negotiate for safe staffing levels, but they can't force them to be followed, any more than they can force employers to provide every employee with a guaranteed 37 minute lunch break every shift. Filing professional responsibility reports that detail patient and staff safety concerns and high workload are excellent tools, but they do take time to work their way through the system. If there isn't an effective mechanism for resolution of these reports, or there simply isn't the resources to resolve the issue, the union isn't going to be able to do much about it. Unions are only as strong as their membership.
It's imperative to present a united
front. If only one person is regularly filing workload reports the perception will be that the problem is with the individual and not with the system. There has to be a collective approach
with many people all reporting the same issue for it to be viewed as a real and serious problem. I belong to one of the strongest, most militant unions in Canada but even that isn't a guarantee that everything is rosy. The unit where I work has been incredibly dysfunctional for a long time (years!) and is only now beginning to turn around... due to the collective efforts
of people who communicated the same message
over and over to administration and the union. I'm not saying that the OP should suck it up and work for the common good, because only she can decide if she's willing or able to stick it out. But bashing her union isn't helpful either.