Why can we not solve the nursing problems peacefully???

  1. I just can't imagine myself walking out on my patients for three days. I also don't wish to chance losing my job. I feel that we should offer the public a peaceful objective before "walking out" or striking.

    Nearly every state is represented here. Why could we not plan a 24hr rally to take place in every state at the same time? We could even have several sites in each state, so that even those working could participate before or after work. This could be done with very little or no money. It would require more time than anything. The media would be sure to give some air time to a rally that is nationwide. Would this not be enough to warn management and government that we are "fed up" and our next logical move is a nationwide walkout, strike, etc?

    What do you guys think??
    •  
  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   nurs4kids
    Originally posted by wildtime88:
    I would go for that only if we already had it pre-planned to walk out within 2 weeks if nothing happened. By that I mean no actual action was taken from our employers. Talk is not action.

    Good idea!
    ahhhhhhhhhhh..now we may be seeing eye to eye! Let's hear from some others.

  4. by   fergus51
    We are in the process of negotiating a new contract and had a strike vote already where almost 96% vote in favor of a strike. We always start with what we call work to rule campaigns first.

    Right now we are not to do any non-nursing duties like portering patients, getting supplies, changing linen, etc. The administrators have had to step in and do these jobs (I get a perverse sense of pleasure hearing administrators complain about how working these long 12 hour shifts is disrupting their personal lives... Gee... what's that like? ). We have also been having periodic bans on OT. We had one easter weekend and even I was shocked at how many patients were discharged and how many elective surgeries had to be cancelled. The hospital can't function unless its staff are working more than full time. What does that tell you?

    I just think things like this are easier to get less radical nurses to agree to. Just a thought.
  5. by   realnursealso/LPN
    Nurs4kids, I think that your idea is a good one. If we all could do it I think we would get the media's attention. Too many people depend on their wages to support children and survive. This problem didn't happen overnight and it can't be solved in a heartbeat either. Doing homecare I don't face the hurdles that alot of you do working in a facility. I would still support my fellow nurses and attend any rally that was held. I think all nurses need to adopt the brotherhood, sisterhood, concept that police officers have and protect our own.

    ------------------
  6. by   Jason-ACNP
    Pleas read the entire post

    Now I really like that. Administrators having to step in and perform non-nursing duties. I remember when hospitals in my area were cutting back on ancillary staff, and the critical care nurses became the CNA, unit secretary, environmental tech, the transporter, and the food server (meaning going down to the cafeteria to bring up the trays). Administration sent out fliers stating "Are these jobs beneath you? Do you think you are too good to help your own hospital out? etc, etc.) My response was, "When you find someone else to take full legal responsibility for my "nursing" duties, including the charting, vent management, hanging blood products, conducting a code, and pushing drugs, then I'll be glad to empty the trash, fold and put away the linens, "fetch" the food trays, and pass out drinks/snacks to patients and their families all day". Consequently, I went traveling.

    Now back to the subject at hand. If a twenty-four hour rally were held to bring national attention to a problem that has grown out of control, (which is a good idea I think),then those geniunely involved would have to understand that the threat of a walk-out within two weeks is not to be taken lightly.

    For instance, let's say that the rally (again, a good idea) takes place nationwide. The plight of nurses is introduced to millions of people across the country during this 24 hour period. It is made clear to everyone that we need "A, B, C, etc. changed", or there will be a nationwide walkout within 14 days". Such a statment carries a lot of momentum, and thus nurses had better be prepared to stand by their guns. The opposition nurses migh face may seem insurmountable. I imagine statements such as "How could you?!! You are committed to caring for the sick!! What happened to compassion?!! Doctors would never do this!!!" or "We couldn't possibly meet these demands within two weeks!!", blah, blah, blah. I imagine that they (the public, government, physicians, adminstrators) would hope that nurses would falter in their stance and surrender their convictions. If they called your bluff and nurses didn't follow through, then support for nurses (by almost everyone) would quickly dissipate. Any chances of ever being taken serious would be lost. That's exactly what the opposition would be banking on.

    Don't get me wrong however. I support you 100%. It's long overdue. But if this does ever get off the ground, be prepared for what lies ahead. There would be no turning back.

    Now, here's one idea to get this off the ground. Maybe a generic letter could be written and passed along to every nurse (and friend) you know. The letter would outline the plight of nurses across this country. I think that 99% of nurses can find a common ground on this. (Place a post on this website to list the TOP 1O (or TOP 20, etc) things that need to change. Everyone writes in, and then someone finally compiles a list. The list is addressed in a formally written letter stating that a 24 hour rally will be held to bring attention to the internal problems afflicting nursing. It is signed "Whatever you want to call the organization". Once the letter is written, you send it through email, snail mail, or in person to every nurse, family member, and friend that think you are worth the cost of a .33 cent stamp and an envelope. Also, ask them to give it to their friends, neighbors, etc if they are willing. It should be made clear that the letter is to be mailed on a certain day. Example: Please mail this letter on May 14th, etc". Hey, when is nurses' week? Is it coming up? I'm sorry I don't know, but my hospital never gave me a damn thing Anyway, nurse's week may be a good time. We could mail the letter to CNN and talk shows like Dateline, The Factor (with Bill O'Reily), 20/20, 60 Minutes, and...WAIT..OPRAH!!!!! Isn't that a show for women by women?? I bet she woould jump on your bandwagon in a New York second. Anyway, flood these shows with hundreds of thousands of this generic letter, and give them Wildtime's name and phone # as the person to contact Just kidding (unless you really want it

    Anyway, I agree with what you have said. I like everything that has gone on at your hospital. It is feasible. A letter campaign is also feasible. One generic letter FLOODING five or six mainstream media outlets in a 1-2 day period. Obviously the points don't have to be what's in this letter. These ideas could be a part of it, or maybe none of it. But a letter could work.

    Just remember this. If a letter is written and ultimatums are given, you have got to be prepared to take some type of action (for the sake of nursing).


    We are in the process of negotiating a new contract and had a strike vote already where almost 96% vote in favor of a strike. We always start with what we call work to rule campaigns first.

    Right now we are not to do any non-nursing duties like portering patients, getting supplies, changing linen, etc. The administrators have had to step in and do these jobs (I get a perverse sense of pleasure hearing administrators complain about how working these long 12 hour shifts is disrupting their personal lives... Gee... what's that like? ). We have also been having periodic bans on OT. We had one easter weekend and even I was shocked at how many patients were discharged and how many elective surgeries had to be cancelled. The hospital can't function unless its staff are working more than full time. What does that tell you?

    I just think things like this are easier to get less radical nurses to agree to. Just a thought.
    [/QUOTE]

  7. by   nurs4kids
    Jason,
    You're exactly right. We will have to be willing to back our threat. We also need to be realistic. Is two weeks really feasible for management to meet our demands? I'm not saying it isn't, I'm asking. I had also thought about Nurse's Week, and like you, I don't know that date <ashamed>.

    Jason, Do you have the time to play a major part in this? I'm sure we can count on Wildtime and some others, and I'll do my part but I can't do all the "leg work" alone.

    Great ideal about giving them Wildtime's phone #, address, etc. If anyone can scare them he can! <kiss><kiss>, wildtime
  8. by   janbeveridge
    I don't know if this is an option for you(I'm from Canada, so I am ignorant about your mandatory overtime issues),but in British Columbia, Canada, the nurses refused to work overtime shifts. They are currently negotiating a new contract. The hospitals are scrambling , mostly elective surgeries have been cancelled. It is not a strike, patients are getting care, but nurses are putting their feet down and saying, they'll work what they are hired to do and no more . Is this a stategy you could try along with rally etc? This strategy would get lots of attention,as doctors cannot bill for surgeries if they can't do them, and hospitals lose revenue( in the United States that is). Makes sense to hit them where it hurts. Rally and a survey for needs also sounds like a great idea. You have alot of nurses , and strength certainly lies in numbers. I'll be watching to see how things go for you. Jan
  9. by   JennieBSN
    Man. You guys are awesome. Okay, this is the first 'organizational' idea I've felt comfortable saying I'd be happy AND willing to participate in.

    Now, I definitely think either Jason or Wild should do the letter-writing...heh heh don't y'all LOVE all this being thrust upon you... and I'd be more than willing to be an envelope stuffer/letter passer-outer. Of course, you guys got me with suggesting we send a copy to my man BILL O'REILLY...go bill, it's your birthday... . I think sending a letter to the media is a FABULOUS idea. Nothing like making noise to get some oil.

    Anyway, I believe nurse's day is only a few days or a week or so away...too close to organize all this. What about Flo jo's birthday? You know...Flo jo...Florence N.? When WAS the old gal born, anyway?? Then again, I don't know how fast you people could move, and you may be a lot faster than I'm giving you credit for. If that's the case, nurse's day sounds fab.

    Count me in. I'd be MOOOOOOORE than willing to tell my employer to pucker up and smooch my back yard if our demands weren't met in 2 weeks...especially with tanning season being here... . Kidding. Seriously, I know quite a few nurses here in my neck of the woods who'd walk out with us.

    You all get the letter written, I'll help with the grunt work. I look forward to more on this...
  10. by   res04lly
    I really like the rally idea and the just work what you were hired for idea. I get fearful when i think about the patients that would suffer at your places of employment.You all do a great job and as an LPN in my small hospital i just tell them no when they call because i burn out to easy so i set my limitations and don't allow management to set my limits.The rally idea is so neat i think you would get a better response from the public and the media if each state organized, as you said on the same day and time all across the country. Then the big networks would be available to listen to what you had to say. Make sure you have the senator, governor, and the state representatives to your state there or just invite them to hear what you have to say. They are the ones who will get the legislation rolling to make the changes necessary, for the change you want. Also have a group of nurses go and monitor the different bills and make sure what you want gets passed in your state's capital. You have the power to make the changes and the best public image will really be a plus for everyone. How can the administrators not see that you mean business but you did it in a extremely professional way without putting the patients at risk. It shows you really care. You all are awesome people and i will be praying for you and i will have this event marked on my calendar. May God be with you for this event
  11. by   nurs4kids
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by kday:
    [B]

    Now, I definitely think either Jason or Wild should do the letter-writing....

    Damn, kday, I know I'm from the south and everything, never claimed to be an English Major, but I am almost insulted by this comment..roflmao, i'm joking..i agree with you totally! lol So you don't think a letter with "ya'll", "darn", "yep", "uha", etc would be effective, eh? lololol
  12. by   nurs4kids
    had to get it back to the top..come on guys, I think this will work...let's hear some more opinions!!!
  13. by   CEN35
    Ok I only have one thing to say, For weeks I have said, "The only way to educate the public, and/or get anything accomplished these days are through the media."

    Could it be people are actually listening or realizing this finally????????

    Rick
  14. by   Jason-ACNP
    I have the same question regarding the time frame. Although hospitals have had years (in most cases) to address the issues that will be presented to them, they clearly have failed to do so. Most have not even begun to try. Their solution has been to throw more money to agency nurses to fill the gap. Thus, if a large number of nurses are serious about a walkout if change is not generated, then we need to give them (hospitals) a feasible amount of time to make change. While there are sporadic strikes in various hospitals across the country, America has never once been faced with what is being proposed. On the flip side, Americans have the attention span of a gnat. If too much time were to pass, the momentum would eventually be lost if action weren't taken. How much time? That would have to be discussed. I'm thinking six weeks to at least see a major plan in the works.

    But before it goes any further, you really need to look at who is serious about this. The magnitude of such a movement would require an organized, step-wise approach. I would not know any other way to initiate this other than conducting a poll on the BB. At that point, it would have to be word of mouth at work and in the community. Ask your colleagues to log on (who aren't members) if they are serious about this (or if they seriously oppose this as well). Also ask your neighbors if you are close to them. Will they support you? If we can generate a significant amount of support on this website, then a letter could easily be drafted.

    I feel that there are several valid concerns. For instance, many nurses are either single moms or a significant source of income for a two-parent family. Thus, they may feel that their jobs would be jeopardized. Others may feel that they could not possibly abandon patients. Personally, I respect and appreciate both concerns. I agree that if you found yourself alone (or with a sparse number of people) on this issue within your own hospital, etc., then you could possibly be terminated. They may cut their losses by identifying a few 'troublemakers" rather than have a these nurses "rock the boat" by attempting to call attention to these consequential issues. On the other hand, if your colleagues support you, then you may realize a different outcome. Secondly, it obviously would not be a 100% walkout. Children and other patients on vents, in burn units, and other critical areas would be cared for. Yet, even if 20% of the workforce (or even 10%) walked-out, there would be chaos. Hospitals would be crippled. (Unfortunately, so would the nurses who were left behind, but it would only be temporary). Remember this. When Reagan fired the stewardesses in the eighties, his thinking may have been, "Hell, how long does it take to train someone to pass out drinks and peanuts". It's not the case here. If enough support were generated, hospitals would have no choice but to meet the needs of nurses.

    There is one more thing. While nursing is about caring, the healthcare industry in general is about money. Administrators and many physicians are driven by money. If they weren't, then why haven't they cut their six (or seven) digit salaries to meet the needs of nurses? Hospitals across this country have cut ancillary staff in huge numbers to "save a buck". Who pays? You do. Most of you have far more responsibility today than nurses did twenty years ago. You have more patients, more "tasks", and the looming threat of mandatory overtime. If healthcare were about caring, then the imbeciles would not have taken away the ancillary support staff that allowed you to EFFECTIVELY care for your patients.

    The key here is support, support, and most importantly, serious support from each state. I would think that a small number of voices (of the 2.5 million nurses in this country) would not carry much weight. These media outlets receive (I imagine) maybe a few thousand pieces of mail every day. That may be way off, I don't know. But they would have to be bombarded with these letters. Also, I think the letter should also be signed by the person mailing it (vs. having it signed by a group) to give.

    If enough support is generated, then nurses could then compile a list of issues on the BB. (The things that you need changed in chronological order. We all know what most of them are. Obviously mandatory overtime is a significant issue, as well as many other things, such as patient/staff ratio, less "non-nursing duties", and the list goes on.)

    That's a starting point. If a letter were generated, then maybe several hundred could be mailed to nursing magazines to generate support. The only problem is that
    1.) That may lose the element of surprise with other media outlets, dampening the blow of receiving thousands of letters within a very short time period.
    2.)The "head-honchos" of these nursing magazines (many with advanced degrees) may view this as "guerrilla warfare of healthcare" and not endorse the movement. In fact, the may publicly denounce it all together. Or maybe they will support you. It's something to consider.

    Anyway, in addition to alerting the television media, I would also send a letter to the paper sources, such as Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, the LA Times, and the Washington Post. Maybe even a woman's magazine (you decide) would pick this up. The point is that the more outlets you hit, the better your chances of being heard.

    That may be a start anyway.


    Originally posted by nurs4kids:
    Jason,
    You're exactly right. We will have to be willing to back our threat. We also need to be realistic. Is two weeks really feasible for management to meet our demands? I'm not saying it isn't, I'm asking. I had also thought about Nurse's Week, and like you, I don't know that date <ashamed>.

    Jason, Do you have the time to play a major part in this? I'm sure we can count on Wildtime and some others, and I'll do my part but I can't do all the "leg work" alone.

    Great ideal about giving them Wildtime's phone #, address, etc. If anyone can scare them he can! <kiss><kiss>, wildtime

close