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:
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