Really Screwed and Tattoed

  1. The full text of what I have to say I posted under the original topic "screwed and tattoed," but I wanted to alert you all at a new and dangerous trend that has started at the hospital I work in in Atlanta:. . . . .
    In an effort to problem-solve this crisis, Administration has decided once again not to improve working conditions or work on retention factors to retain the nurses they have. While complaining about a severe labor shortage, they continue to hire the lowest wage they can find from wherever they can find them, which drives wages down further throughout the labor market and exacerbates the skilled nursing shortage. Our Administration has recently embarked on a mission to go to the Phillipines and hire 75 new nurses (they have already done so) who would be willing to work at half of what they pay the US nurse.(by law they have to post their salaries on the bulletin board,so we know how much they will be making) We were told "they will work hard and not complain about working nites and weekends." The overall effect is to crank wages down tighter, paradoxically making the job less desirable.

    This unfettered market for nursing labor from the third world nations produces a continuous and destructive slide that will threaten nursing instead. Managed health care says that they simply cannot recruit, hire, train and retain nurses who can both do the job, pass stringent drug tests and have the education and know-how to do their job--work performed under difficult conditions at the wages companies are willing and now, able to pay. The continual infusion of new employees into the business of nursing in the hospital, however temporary can break any work situation. Nursing, it seems, has a seemingly inexhaustible well of new grads, even if it grinds them up and spits them out a fearful rate. As our industry embarks on a new project: to permanently replace this situation with nurses from far-flung communities, willing to work for less, it will only drive wages down further throughout the labor market and exacerbates the skilled nursing shortage. As long as the market for nursing remains unstable, someone will take that low-wage nursing job--if only on a temporary basis. As wages drop, it becomes irrational for individual workers, to invest in their human capital--what they have built up in skills and marketablity over years working in the business. This furter devalues their labor and ends up attracting to nursing those workers with the fewest employment alternatives, mainly from third world nations. I wonder if Administration will ever wring their hands over the trap in which they see themselves, a trap they set themselves, unable to raise wages or working conditions to the level needed to attract the kind of nurses they want and need.

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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   oramar
    Originally posted by RunningSoLate:Administration has decided once again not to improve working conditions or work on retention factors to retain the nurses they have. While complaining about a severe labor shortage, they continue to hire the lowest wage they can find from wherever they can find them, which drives wages down further throughout the labor market and exacerbates the skilled nursing shortage. Our Administration has recently embarked on a mission to go to the Phillipines and hire 75 new nurses (they have already done so) who would be willing to work at half of what they pay the US nurse.(by law they have to post their salaries on the bulletin board,so we know how much they will be making) We were told "they will work hard and not complain about working nites and weekends." The overall effect is to crank wages down tighter, paradoxically making the job less desirable.

    This unfettered market for nursing labor from the third world nations produces a continuous and destructive slide that will threaten nursing instead. Managed health care says that they simply cannot recruit, hire, train and retain nurses who can both do the job, pass stringent drug tests and have the education and know-how to do their job--work performed under difficult conditions at the wages companies are willing and now, able to pay. The continual infusion of new employees into the business of nursing in the hospital, however temporary can break any work situation. Nursing, it seems, has a seemingly inexhaustible well of new grads, even if it grinds them up and spits them out a fearful rate. As our industry embarks on a new project: to permanently replace this situation with nurses from far-flung communities, willing to work for less, it will only drive wages down further throughout the labor market and exacerbates the skilled nursing shortage. As long as the market for nursing remains unstable, someone will take that low-wage nursing job--if only on a temporary basis. As wages drop, it becomes irrational for individual workers, to invest in their human capital--what they have built up in skills and marketablity over years working in the business. This furter devalues their labor and ends up attracting to nursing those workers with the fewest employment alternatives, mainly from third world nations. I wonder if Administration will ever wring their hands over the trap in which they see themselves, a trap they set themselves, unable to raise wages or working conditions to the level needed to attract the kind of nurses they want and need.

    [/B]
    This brings up one of the things I have noticed about my managers. If I came to them with a problem they would see my statement of the problem as a complaint. I always tried not to seem whinny or nasty, even putting things in writing to I could review what I was writing to make sure it did not sound like a complaint. However, my pointing out of the problem was always seen by managment as the problem. I was always treated like a complainer, very rarely did anyone ever listen to what I had to say. I have to say to managment everywhere, THE COMPLAINING IS NOT THE PROBLEM, THE PROBLEM IS THE PROBLEM. YOU WOKE UP ONE MORNING AND FOUND YOUSELF IN THE MIDDLE OF A STAFFING PROBLEM FOR A REASON. ALL THOSE SO CALLED COMPLAINERS WERE TRYING TO POINT OUT VERY REAL PROBLEMS. IF YOU HAD HEEDED THE COMPLAINERS YOU WOULD NOT BE SITTING WHERE YOU ARE NOW.
  4. by   nursedude
    GO TO
    www.stfranciscare.org

    It's a hospital in Connetcuit that is hiring nurses from outside the USA....


    You know, this whole situation sounds oh so familiar to me...I live in Pittsburgh. About 20 years ago the same thing happened to the steel industry that is currently happening to nursing...It became cheaper for people who use steel to get it from Japan. In this case It is cheaper for hospitals to use nurses from the Phillipines...

    The same thing happened to US car manufactureres...Compared to Hondas and Nissans Chevy's and Fords were too expensive! So as a country we all bought "Jap" cars...

    Needless to say, there aren't any steelmills here in Pittsburgh that make steel anymore...
  5. by   RunningSoLate
    It's not just a hospital in Connecticut--our hospital in Atlanta has hired 75 new nurses from the Phillippines. In fact, they set up a "task force" to keep an on-going supply of nurses coming from there. When asked what they were going to do to retain the nurses that were already there, there was silence. Since the hospital you referred us to is St.Francis, and our hospital is Catholic also, this may be how the Catholic hospitals hope to solve their staffing problems.
  6. by   nursedude
    Gee Wiz Oramar.... Did I strike a nerve or something???

    The point I was trying to make is that our entire country is being Bullshi**ed. And also, there are a large number of nurses who are being fooled as well(have been for years). I disagree with your point:

    "If they brought every single nurse in the Phillipines here it would not make a dent in this shortage"

    The issue is not about bringing all the nurses from the Phillipines, rather it's the lowering of standards: The standards of pay for professional nurses and the standards of care recieved by the patients...

    Oramar, you have got to see my point- Don't you? This shortage is an engineered thing- You even posted the article on another thread about "Engineering a shortage". Well, this present "shortage" is doing exactly what it was planned to do! It's lowering the cost of overhead (decreasing nursing salaries) that hospitals have to pay!!!! Unfortunately it may also decrease the standards of care But the hospital admins don't care about that do they? Take a look at AGH - Greedy Admins = "abused nurses" = bankrupt hospital = lower standards of patient care...

    What if Oramar.... What if the Phillipines was only the beginning? What about Mexico? What about Canada? What about Australia and England??? The Admins and "engineers of this shortage" don't care about human life- they care about Revenue and the bottom $$$, and they sure as He** don't care about nurses salaries as long as they don't go up!

    Oramar, I think you are wrong... Sorry to disagree with you.
  7. by   oramar
    Originally posted by nursedude:
    Gee Wiz Oramar.... Did I strike a nerve or something???

    The point I was trying to make is that our entire country is being Bullshi**ed. And also, there are a large number of nurses who are being fooled as well(have been for years). I disagree with your point:

    "If they brought every single nurse in the Phillipines here it would not make a dent in this shortage"

    The issue is not about bringing all the nurses from the Phillipines, rather it's the lowering of standards: The standards of pay for professional nurses and the standards of care recieved by the patients...

    Oramar, you have got to see my point- Don't you? This shortage is an engineered thing- You even posted the article on another thread about "Engineering a shortage". Well, this present "shortage" is doing exactly what it was planned to do! It's lowering the cost of overhead (decreasing nursing salaries) that hospitals have to pay!!!! Unfortunately it may also decrease the standards of care But the hospital admins don't care about that do they? Take a look at AGH - Greedy Admins = "abused nurses" = bankrupt hospital = lower standards of patient care...

    What if Oramar.... What if the Phillipines was only the beginning? What about Mexico? What about Canada? What about Australia and England??? The Admins and "engineers of this shortage" don't care about human life- they care about Revenue and the bottom $$$, and they sure as He** don't care about nurses salaries as long as they don't go up!

    Oramar, I think you are wrong... Sorry to disagree with you.
    I was just thinking about posting a topic called WHAT IF? What if the main point of bringing in nurses from other countries is to cut off the growing nurses movement at the knees. Anyone who knows the history of labor movements knows there is a precident for that sort of thing. My reason for saying that there are not enough nurses in the Philipines to fill the holes in our medical sysytem was to emphasize the severity of the shortage. I am supcious of managment motives as always. I posted that brief remark while my husband was down stairs screaming for me to move my car. I did not go into the subject as much as I wanted to.

    [This message has been edited by oramar (edited September 28, 2000).]
  8. by   Mijourney
    Hi colleagues. I entered nursing before the huge focus on costs. So, I got to experience a little bit of the joys of nursing, in my opinion. But, I should have smelled the coffee a decade ago when managed costs started becoming mainstream, services changed to for profit, complex technology was increasingly used to prolong life, and the pharmaceuticals went mad. I think the nursing profession, in general, has missed alot of opportunities to force alot of standards to be raised due to our passive tendencies and lack of consistent cohesiveness. I don't feel intimidated by nurses from other countries being brought to this country for labor. Americans work in countries outside of the U.S. I do feel that we are seeing the recycling of slavery in another form for economic reasons.
  9. by   oramar
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by nursedude:
    GO TO
    www.stfranciscare.org

    It's a hospital in Connetcuit that is hiring nurses from outside the USA....


    You know, this whole situation sounds oh so familiar to me...I live in Pittsburgh. About 20 years ago the same thing happened to the steel industry that is currently happening to nursing...It became cheaper for people who use steel to get it from Japan. In this case It is cheaper for hospitals to use nurses from the Phillipines...

    The same thing happened to US car manufactureres...Compared to Hondas and Nissans Chevy's and Fords were too expensive! So as a country we all bought "Jap" cars...

    Needless to say, there aren't any steelmills here in Pittsburgh that make steel anymore...
    [/QUOTE/] If they brought every single nurse in the Phillipines here it would not make a dent in this shortage

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