Quote from rjflyn
Seriously you most effective way to protest is with your feet. Go some place else. It's your choice if you continue to stay in an supposedly unsafe environment. If you dont want to leave then find out the cause of why there are not enough nurses and do something about it, be part of the solution and not part of the problem. For example if you facility needs nurses help recruit, I know mine is always looking for staff on the night shift, and even then thats not forever- I have nurses with 2 years in dept on afternoons and mid-days.
The problem with leaving is that the next place may not be any better. And that's assuming that I can find another job in my area.
We do need to fill one or two openings, but it isn't as if I can just go recruit and problem solved. Management already has several resumes in hand, or so I'm told. I can't force them to hire someone, and even when they do, it takes time to get them ready to assume the position on their own.
One of the problems that we have had is that all the nurses they have hired recently have been new grads with no experience in nursing, let alone in the ED. So when I"m charge, I have to be concerned with 3-4 out of 7 (when fully staffed) nurses per shift who don't always know what they are doing. Those of us who are experienced and see the danger in this have protested in all of the ways that are available to us, but we are told that the grievance process takes time.
Another issue that we are dealing with is nurses calling in sick. That is not something that I have any power to address, and management has not done it for some unknown reason.
You seem to suggest that by refusing an assignment I am part of the problem. I am certainaly not unaware of the possible ramifications of this action. But when all other avenues have seemingly failed, sometimes you are left with the choice of drawing a line in the sand and standing for your rights.