Has Anyone Worked A Strike? - page 8

Just wondering what it is like. Anybody have anything to say about the specific companies?... Read More

  1. by   hogan4736
    "Between transferring pts out & shutting down elective services, there should be very few pts left to be cared for in the striking hospital, but those that are still there are cared for by RN manangers, RN clinical specialists, etc - all the other RNs who work at the hospital in positions other than staff RN"

    Thanks jt, that's a tangible answer. What I was getting was anything but that kind of an answer...

    I'm not in any way anti strike, just trying to stimulate discussion, and thinking outside the box. As my personal experience has been that some nurses aren't concerned about a plan for the patients, just their own bottom line...

    sean
  2. by   -jt
    <Is it selfish of the instructors to jump in (they don't work there technically), as their #1 priority should be the students.>

    actually, I think the instructors did keep their students as their #1 priority when they educated them on the issues of the striking nurses and the reasons for the strike. These are issues that students have to know about & understand how things like short staffing and forced ot affect them & their pts & how detrimental they can be. These students will have less reality shock when they get to work. They will not be complacent doormats and accepting of the unacceptable. I think the instructors were right to pull the students out of that hospital & arrange other facilities for clinicals. These students happened to agree, but even if they didnt because they didnt want to be inconvenienced driving a little further to another facility, the instructors should still have pulled them out of clinicals at the striking facility on principle - whether the students liked it or not - because the issues were more important than personal inconvenience.
    Last edit by -jt on Mar 13, '03
  3. by   caroladybelle
    Thank you JT
  4. by   caroladybelle
    Originally posted by -jt
    <NOBODY has a solution for who takes care of the patient during the strike......>

    thats not true. There are carefully outlined solutions but nowadays too many hospitals are refusing to follow them. How is that the fault of the striking nurses?

    All of this blaming the striking nurses for unsafe pt conditions is misdirected. Its the hospital that chooses to put the pts into that situation. Most of the pts should not even be there. Nurses dont just walk out. They give the hospital 10 days notice to discharge pts who can be discharged & arrange their home care for them, transfer pts who need hospital care to other nearby facilities that are not on strike (and the striking nurses then work at those facilities per diem during the strike to take care of them), cancel elective surgeries, cease admitting new pts, downsize the in-house pt population, mobilize RN managers, RN clinical cocordinators, RN educators, and other non-staff RNs who work at their facility & put them to work at the bedside of the few pts who are supposed to remain. The only service that is supposed to be open is the ED & emergency OR. Striking nurses go back in to handle critical emergencies or surgeries & then come back out when its under control. And they form a pt safety committee to keep track of whats going on inside & to make sure the few remaining pts ARE receiving proper care. Thats how its supposed to be & the fact that this all cuts down on hospital business & revenue is the trump card & why its effective in bringing the hospital back to the table, avoiding a strike altogether, or ending it quickly if it occurs.

    Loss of revenue is the only thing that administration pays attention to. Moving pts to other facilities & shutting down services causes them a loss of revenue. Paying for scabs with taxpayer funds does not. So hospitals sometimes wont do all of these pt safety solutions during a strike, will keep every pt there, & ignore the strike. Putting their business before the pt, they will call in scabs to work 12-20 hr shifts 6 days a week so they can keep all the pts there & keep business going as usual. There are solutions for who takes care of the pts during a strike but calling in out-of-state scabs who work excessive, unsafe hours is not one of them.

    Nurses who decide to strike do so for safer working conditions & retention/recruitment initiatives which ARE for the pt because if the hospital doesnt pay enough & has unsafe conditions, nurses wont work there & that does affect the pts everyday.

    If the hospital chooses to provoke a strike & then refuses to apply the solutions, choosing instead to keep the beds filled during a strike, putting profits before pt safety, it is not the striking nurses who are endangering the pts.

    There should be concern for pts in hospitals that ignore the 10 day notice & refuse to apply the solutions for who cares for their pts during a nurses strike, but the pressure & blame for that should be put squarely on the shoulders of the hospital. They are responsible for their own actions - and inaction - and should be held accountable. If any pts (who shouldnt even still be there) suffer because of this, that is for the hospital to answer to, not the striking nurses.
    This was posted on 2/27 - an intelligent post and it didn't take a week to obtain (something stated earlier on this page).
    Last edit by caroladybelle on Mar 13, '03
  5. by   hogan4736
    seems as if I have made an enemy in ms belle...

    oh well, can't win 'em all

    it's tough to debate with someone who dislikes me...
  6. by   caroladybelle
    I do not dislike you. I have better things to do with my time and energy, than dislike anyone or treat anyone as an "enemy". Life is too short.

    You said that it took a week to get an "intelligent" answer to the question that you posed.

    I am merely pointing out that there are quite a few intelligent postings here and that you did receive an answer to the question. (And that by saying that post #83 was the first intelligent post answer was rather rude to all the posters).

    I was not aware that there was a debate going on, thank you for so informing me. I thought that we were merely individuals sharing information and discourse on matters of common nursing interest, to enlighten us and broaden our horizons.

    But then, I am generally last to know about such things.

    And I do regret that I mistook your PCT post as one about the PCT giving meds. Will attempt not to do so in future.

    PS. Sean, I am Carolina - enchante' to meet you - anyone for sweet tea.
  7. by   eddy
    Originally posted by hogan4736
    "Between transferring pts out & shutting down elective services, there should be very few pts left to be cared for in the striking hospital, but those that are still there are cared for by RN manangers, RN clinical specialists, etc - all the other RNs who work at the hospital in positions other than staff RN"

    Thanks jt, that's a tangible answer. What I was getting was anything but that kind of an answer...

    I'm not in any way anti strike, just trying to stimulate discussion, and thinking outside the box. As my personal experience has been that some nurses aren't concerned about a plan for the patients, just their own bottom line...

    sean
    I hate to say it brother but I said more or less the same thing. You just had the desire to hear but not listen.
  8. by   eddy
    Originally posted by hogan4736
    oh, and eddy, you stated: "The fact that we have an incredible shortage of nurses already proves that management is NOT fixing the situation nor does it care (if it means spending any money). That leaves only the nurses to stand in to make a bad situation better. "

    So it's the (collective) responsibility of every administration of every hospital in the country to ensure that the country has enough nurses??

    Really??

    :roll
    :roll
    :roll
    In a nutshell OF COURSE IT IS... If they expect to continue operating. Just like it is any other company's job to make sure they have enough workers to fill their office, plant, call center, etc. If they don't have enough people then it's their (management's) fault, not the fault of the other workers. "Enough workers" comes from 3 key things (called the 3 R's):

    Recruitment
    Retention
    Retraining
  9. by   eddy
    Originally posted by hogan4736
    seems as if I have made an enemy in ms belle...

    oh well, can't win 'em all

    it's tough to debate with someone who dislikes me...

    Whoa! Slow down the buggy Sean. This is just a forum for sharing info man. Not a brawl.
  10. by   allycat62
    I was an RN employed at a Portland hospital for 2 months when the nurses went on strike. The majority of my co-workers went out on the picket lines but I choose to stay. Although it was initially very stressful I found it to be a positive experience. The hospital was staffed with travelers from throughout the US. They brought with them years of experience. I learned a lot and made new friends. I found the travel nurses to be extremely competent and were a joy to work with. I was sorry to see them leave after the strike was settled after 80 something days.
    There were some grudges when the hospital nurses returned but for the most part it was a learning experiences for all.
  11. by   hogan4736
    I guess I don't like the "bipartisan" split when it comes to nursing strikes...

    Not everything is so black and white when it comes to striking. Some nurses actually believe patients will think like they do, and boycott a hospital that's striking...I'm just trying to bring a little reality guys...These "little things" don't seem to get any attention, unless you or your family member suddenly find yourself on a ward in a hospital that's in the middle of an ugly strike, and asking yourself, am I getting the best care? And you don't give a damn who's right, or how much admin really sucks!!! Let's just always keep this in the back of our minds.

    All I'm asking is look at all sides...

    No malintentions here...Thanks for listening
    Last edit by hogan4736 on Mar 14, '03
  12. by   -jt
    <So it's the (collective) responsibility of every administration of every hospital in the country to ensure that the country has enough nurses??>

    Absolutely. And it is also the responsibility of the state and federal governments.

    excerpt: <<NYSNA Releases Poll: Overwhelming Public Demand for Governor and Legislature to Set Safe Patient-to-Nurse Ratios to Ensure Public Safety -
    ...NYSNA calls on New York lawmakers to enact staffing ratios that meet the specific needs of New York patients and nurses. "It is time for New York State to take responsibility for the safety and welfare of its hospital patients,"...... Our elected officials have a responsibility to the people of this state to make safe staffing a priority."
    >>
    http://www.nysna.org/news/press/pr2003/031003.htm
  13. by   -jt
    <I found the travel nurses to be extremely competent and were a joy to work with. I was sorry to see them leave after the strike was settled after 80 something days.>

    The issue is not about scabs or their competency. Although there is a point to the argument when all over the country nurses are demanding bans on forced ot because working excessive hours has been proven to be unsafe and lead to pt care errors - and then you have strike-breaker mercenary nurses working 12-20 hr shifts 6-7 days a week for the blood money. With all the recent documentation regarding the negative impact that working excessive hours has on pt care, its hard to see how a hospital can explain putting pts into that kind of situation and still claim they are getting "competent" care. But thats another discussion.

    The issue here is about the fact that if scabs werent there & you hadnt crossed your own strike line, that strike would not have lasted 80 days because the management would have had to come back to the table & make the compromises they eventually made and make the improvements you now enjoy because your colleagues did take that stand.

    The whole point is that if nurses stood together as a profession and refused to scab each other, hospitals would not be provoking strikes, they would be fixing the problems. If there were no nurse scabs, there would be no nursing strikes because a strike would be a logistical nightmare & the hospitals would be working harder to resolve the issues with their own nurses first to avoid that - and just maybe our working conditions would be liveable once & for all.

    It is no coinicidence that with the invention & growth of "strike nurse agencies", there has also been an increase in nursing strikes. Because hospitals are choosing to go that route. They give no thought to the pts. They put them on them on the back burner. Facilities have learned that they dont need their nurses and dont have to make any improvements - they can just hire these agencies - at the tax payers expense - and wait it out until the striking nurses are worn down and give up.

    There is an increase in nursing strikes now because this relatively new entity called "strike agencies" has taken the bite out of a strike threat & hospitals are choosing to sit back & allow them to happen, comfortable in the knowledge that they can just get "replacements" - because nurses can be manipulated and will give up their strength as a profession for the right price. At the same time that they all complain about the very same things that the nurses are striking over (poor working conditions, short-staffing, inadequate compensation), for the right price, these other nurses will gladly allow themselves to be used by the hospital to help knock the striking nurses back and stand in the way of those nurses who are at their last resort in trying to fix those things at their facility. "Replacement" workers have been called "strike-breakers" for generations because that is what they do. They may feel they are the pts salvation but their being there only enables the hospital to ignore the strike, its own nurses, and the problems which will remain long after the scabs are gone.

    Who is going to take any of us seriously and how are we supposed to make wide-spread change happen for all of us when we act in such a self-defeating manner towards each other? All kinds of professionals are in unions and negotiate collective contracts but what other profession must tolerate their own as professional scabs? Are there doctor strike agencies or teacher strike agencies in existence solely to serve as strike-breakers for these professions? We are a hypocritical joke to the professional world and an embarrassment to ourselves.

    Several nursing strikes have been called off in NYC & other places at the last moment simply because the hospital could not find enough scabs to satisfy DOH requirements and had to return to the negotiations table in order to stay in business. They begged the union to postpone the strike and give them another chance because scabs were not there. The hospital felt the pressure & responded appropriately so the strikes were cancelled and management sat down to work out the problems in good faith, but had these hospitals been able to get the numbers of scabs that they needed, they would have felt no pressure at all, never would have come back to the table to work it out with their nurses and instead would have gone ahead with their plans to force the strikes to happen and ignore the RNs issues .

    How scabs cannot see that their ready presence just allows the hospital to avoid having to fix its problems & just allows it to provoke a nurses strike instead is beyond logic.
    Last edit by -jt on Mar 14, '03

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