Should nurses strike? - page 3

Should nurses strike? Would you cross the picket line?:confused:... Read More

  1. by   fab4fan
    My conscience will not allow me to facilitate a hospital running on bare bones staffing; for me to do so it to give my tacit approval to such management practices.

    Interesting how there is always money in the budget for "VP of this" and "VP of that", but when it comes to safe staffing, forget it.

    I don't believe anyone goes into nursing thinking it's going to be a cakewalk, but I doubt that anyone expects to spend every day at work ruuning like a maniac...when a good day is getting a bathroom break.

    I have my doubts about this "NP"...stirring up trouble after 4 posts; looks pretty funny if you ask me.

    As long as there are scabs willing to keep unsafe hospitals running, we don't stand a chance. When personal greed overrides professional responsiblility, then I really don't care how great that nurse is...I don't want to work with him/her. We have a responsiblity to call a spade a spade, and unsafe hospitals do not need or deserve support.
  2. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by fab4fan
    My conscience will not allow me to facilitate a hospital running on bare bones staffing; for me to do so it to give my tacit approval to such management practices.

    We have a responsiblity to call a spade a spade, and unsafe hospitals do not need or deserve support.
    Patients need to know! These places need to improve or close.
    Recent article. Nurses leave nursing altogether! Others do botox, private duty, and best of all some go staff the best hospitals.

    http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news...08/detail.html
    Report: Nursing Shortage May Lead To Deaths
    Many Leave Nursing Because Of Poor Staffing Conditions, Survey Says
    POSTED: 7:19 a.m. EDT June 18, 2003
    UPDATED: 4:06 p.m. EDT June 18, 2003
    BOSTON -- Nearly 30 percent of the state's nurses report that understaffing has led directly to patient deaths at Massachusetts hospitals, according to survey released Wednesday by the Massachusetts Nursing Association.
  3. by   Hardknox
    Way to go, Bender. 4 Posts and you've really managed to stir the pot and get people angry. What a way to make an entrance!

    You call denigrating nurses and calling us whiners debating? Look the word up in Websters. I agree with Fab4 and jt. Only a nurse who has been there could speak so eloquently.
  4. by   roxannekkb
    -jt, kudos, kudos and kudos. I couldn't have said it better, and I'm not known for mincing words (-:.
  5. by   roxannekkb
    Oh I forgot to add...to bender--yes, being able to debate is part of what a free society is all about, but you sound like you're proud of being abused. Like its some sort of noble experience to be overworked and be unable to safely care for your patients, and that to complain about it or fight is being a sissy.

    Your attitude is that nurses should take what is dished out, and be little martyrs. Well, I hate to tell you, but that's the reason why we are experiencing a severe shortage right now. And the shortage will worsen if nurses have to continue working under the conditions you think are so noble.

    All I can say is--managment must adore you! You're the nurse of their dreams. The rest of us, who want to be treated decently and work in a safe environment, well, we're their nightmare.

    Are you sure you're an NP and not a hospital PR person in disguise??
  6. by   Katnip
    There's something in bender's post that brings to mind something many RNs face besides unsafe staffing and long working hours--a lack of respect for nurses and what they do.
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by -jt
    bender your comments indicate that you dont have a clue what the staff nurses are dealing with or what the issues are or how they endanger your pts. How long ago were you a staff nurse that you dont know how these current issues are negatively affecting your pts care?

    Why not go around & ask the staff nurses instead of complaining that they call you for orders? You label them as having "poor attitudes" and "gripes", as though the nurse is a mere annoyance to you, but have you bothered to find out what the causes of their low moral is or what their concerns are? Its about your pts & the care they cant provide to them under the conditions their working in. But it sounds like you have just written the nurses off as a bunch of whining women.

    I bet if you ordered something for your pt that wasnt done or that got lost in the shuffle because the nurse had 8 other pts and only 2 hands, or was exhausted from working 16 hrs straight, you would not want to hear about how unmanageable her workload was - all youd be concerned about is that your pt didnt get the care he was supposed to get. Well, his staff nurse is concerned about that too. THATS what shes "griping" about. And also that it is her license on the line when that pt doesnt get the care he needs. If your pts matter to you, you will listen to what exactly it is that their bedside nurses are saying.

    Its not about mere "hard work". Its got nothing to do with strikes. Its about unsafe situations & working conditions that are negatively affecting your pts care, putting your pts at risk, as well as putting the staff RNs' license & own health at risk.. Its very unfair of you to trivialize that, look down your nose at them, and tell them to just shut up & work harder.

    Its not about hard work. Its about the quality of pt care. Its about the fact that they are being pushed to the limits and cant provide the care they know the pts need when they dont have the staff resources to provide that care, yet are still held responsible when the pt doesnt get the care he needs.

    Its about being forced to work excessive hours no matter how exhausted they are and be vulnerable to making a mistake with someones life. Since that life might belong to your patient, one would think youd pay more attention to the issues & consequences of unsafe staffing, be more supportive, alarmed, & concerned over what is happening to bedside nurses.... and your pts.

    What do the nurses want? I cant even believe youre a nurse and youre asking this question. Have you not been reading the newspapers for the last 5 years? They want safe, manageable pt loads so some of those 98,000 preventable medical-error deaths & failure to rescues that occur in this country every year can be reduced or eliminated & so the pts they are supposed to be caring for can get the care they need. They want enough RNs, support staff & equipment available so they can do the physical labor of the job. Youre mistaken that they all "have PCAs to help" already. We havent had a PCA in my ICU in 10 years. And even for those who do have PCAs, that does not relinquish the nursing care & responsibility of the RN when she has too many pts assigned to her, whether she has a PCA "to help" or not.

    If you want nurses to smile & be happy, they first need to stop being abused and stop being put into overwhelming, exhausting, dangerous work situations. If the nurses at your facility are not happy, it is up to management to look at the reasons why & change the culture, administrative attitudes, and practices at that facility to improve it. They cant be beating nurses up all day & then complain that the nurses have developed a "poor attitude" in response to it. If it wants better moral among its employees, administration has to look itself in the mirror and make changes in itself.

    We used to have a CEO, before we demanded & got his resignation, who "downsized" to a skeleton staff, eliminated ekg techs, phelbotomy techs, housekeepers, transporters, PCAs, messengers, froze 50 vacant RN positions, and expected the remaining nurses to do all those support staff jobs while at the same time providing quality nursing care by themselves to 10 or more very sick people each for a mandatory forced ot shift totaling 16 hrs a day. He also fired the VP of Nursing and the DON, eliminated the nursing ed dept except for one token educator, laid off all the NPs, clinical specialists, and 3/4 of the nurse managers...... and then ordered the remaining bedside nurses to attend mandatory "customer service" classes to learn how to smile, under threat of disciplinary action if they didnt improve their moral.

    He, like you, couldnt understand what the nurses were "complaining" about or why they had such "poor attitudes". He probably would have said the same about the slaves in the Southern state that he came from.

    PS
    Youre also mistaken that doctors dont strike. Interns & residents strike hospitals in NY over their own working conditions and salaries & attendings are striking all over the country now over malpractice insurance - this month in NJ.... again. And youre also mistaken that NPs dont strike. NPs at some facilities in my state have chosen not to be management and chose rather to be part of the nurses union. If theres a nurses strike at their facility, all the union nurses are in strike, including them.
    ---------------------------------
    roxannekkb
    "-jt, kudos, kudos and kudos. I couldn't have said it better, and I'm not known for mincing words (-:."

    Hardknox
    "I agree with Fab4 and jt. Only a nurse who has been there could speak so eloquently."

    cyberkat
    "There's something in bender's post that brings to mind something many RNs face besides unsafe staffing and long working hours--a lack of respect for nurses and what they do."

    Dplear
    War Mongering Troglodyte "Bender.... you still are an RN"

    Originally posted by labornurse
    "Very well stated jt. "

    2Banurse
    I can only echo the same sentiment! You tell'em -jt!

    funnygirl_rn
    "Jt..what a terrific & well written response! Thank you for saying what many of us are thinking. "
    labornurse
    The Divine Miss "M"
    "Very well stated jt."
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    *alright you all, quit yer bellyaching and get back to work now*.....




    Just kidding. I won't stir the pot further; I will just say I register vehement disagreement with Bender's point of view, and fully support -jt's posts.

    Have a good day, all.
  9. by   bender73
    Originally posted by Dplear
    Bender....Remeber your title still says RN after it....even if you are an NOP...you still are an RN

    Dave
    Nice contibution to the thread. I said I was a nurse.

    Look people. You gotta have some thicker skin here. Its not like I have once made a personal attack on anyone in particular. I am simply expressing my views. Maybe it comes across as harsh, but your not sitting here with me so you pick apart everthing said like I was putting you down. I AM A NURSE as well and I simply disagree with the antics of a lot (not all) of nurses.

    I like a lively debate and if we were all in a room together talking instead of typing then this would probably be seen as more of a "debate."

    I might use terms like "its your job" or "go work" but I do not mean it in a condescending manner. I am simply saying that its our job to be on the front lines of healthcare and being IN THE HOSPITAL to take care of people is more important than fighting management. There are other ways.

    I am getting bashed for speaking my mind. I am not callous. I do a damn good job as an NP and I care about my patients. I put management aside and my personal gripes when it comes time to care for my patient. I would never admit someone only to walk out the door and strike the next day. That is foolish and if you can't see that then I am sorry.

    Who cares if I say a lot of RNs whine. Its true!!! Heck, I whine at times. Its just that RNs do seem to have a tendency to gripe about a lot of things. I am not blind to the stuff going on. I pick my battles carefully and put the patients first before management.

    And enough already about doubting my credentials. I am a 30 year-old male NP with much better things to do then go to a random nursing board and lie about being an NP simply to stir things up.

    If anyone takes offense to my view then I am sorry you feel that way. My intention is to state my opinion and those that agree...great!!! Those that don't...great!!! I am not a snob and I certainly do not mind being put in my place. If I am proven wrong about something then I will admit it. Moreover, I don't know everything (nor do any of you) and I might learn some things that I was not aware of. What I do know is what I see and hear in the hospital and on the news. It is from that information that I base my current opinion.

    Facts...
    I am a nurse
    I respect all nurses if they show me equal respect
    I know there are tough issues
    I think striking is wrong if it poses a risk to any patient

    Someone please tell me how walking out the door and picketing is beneficial to the patient? Is is the greater good theory? So we will put a load of patients in harms way while we picket in order to get what we want in the end? So those patients that are admitted during the strike are expendable? The other people after the strike will be ok so it doesn't matter what happens during the strike? That's how it looks to me when RNs strike. The end does not always justify the means.
    Last edit by bender73 on Jun 21, '03
  10. by   bender73
    I would like to add that in re-reading my first couple of posts I will admit that I did come across harsh. I was probably wrong in some of the wording. I have strong feelings on this striking issue and in re-reading those posts of mine I can see where some might think I am merely stirring the pot.
  11. by   roxannekkb
    >>>Someone please tell me how walking out the door and picketing is beneficial to the patient? Is is the greater good theory? So we will put a load of patients in harms way while we picket in order to get what we want in the end? So those patients that are admitted during the strike are expendable? The other people after the strike will be ok so it doesn't matter what happens during the strike? That's how it looks to me when RNs strike. The end does not always justify the means<<<

    It has been clearly pointed out on this board that striking is a last resort, not a first resort. And strikes are never just, "Hey guys, we didn't get our way, let's go out and strike." And everyone drops what they're doing and runs out the door.

    Strikes generally come at the end of a long process of trying to work with management. And when management refuses to negotiate with nurses, like for such piddly things as getting rid of mandatory overtime, or cutting the patient load, or unfreezing pay rates, then a strike is called.

    Management is usually given ample time to transfer patients and to stop accepting new admits. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. More often than not, they are busy negotiating with agencies who supply scabs, to take the striking nurses places.

    So how is picketing beneficial to patients? Well, a strike may mean that nurses will be given less patients, will do away with mandatory overtime, and that a patient on a surgical floor will not be cared for by a NICU nurse. Better working conditions for nurses equals better patient care. Poor working conditions equals poorer patient care, it means a greater exodus of experienced nurses out of the profession--which is happening right now. So again, patients suffer because of a lack of nurses.

    No one wants to go out on strike. But in many instances, management is not going to listen and continue to cut corners, overload nurses and in doing so, increase patient deaths--unless nurses take strong action. I think preventing unnecessary patient death is a benefit, don't you?

    A strike is inconvenient, yes. But I firmly believe that patients are far more endangered by being in a hospital where nurses are leaving in droves, being worked into an early grave, and delivering poor patient care as a result.

    And yes, you did come across as harsh, especially your rant about how we should be "grateful" for our jobs. Sorry, but I refuse to show gratitude to someone who abuses me. Mr. CEO is sitting upstairs in his plushy office, nice and comfy, making several million a year while the nurses downstairs are busting their butts for a tiny fraction of the amount. Should I be grateful to the suits who are busy cutting every bit of fat away from the hospital, including housekeeping, RTs, secretaries, etc, and then expect me to pick up the slack? In addition to caring for 12 patients a shift?

    If you can come up with a better solution, when nurses and management reach an impasse, I'm sure that everyone on the board would love to hear it. Other than shut up, put up and just do your job.
    Last edit by roxannekkb on Jun 21, '03
  12. by   bender73
    Roxannekkb...The "grateful for your job comment" does have merit. There are plenty of unemployed people that would love to be in a situation to even have a job to worry about. You have to admit that. In general, a crappy job is better than no job.

    Oh, and please stop with the CEO bashing. Do you really know what CEOs do? My uncle is a CEO of a corporation and works way more than me or most RNs (or doctors for that matter). Don't play that card because unless you personally know what a CEO does on a daily basis, you can't make that argument. Being a CEO can be a 24/7 stressful grind.
    Last edit by bender73 on Jun 21, '03
  13. by   teeituptom
    Oh Golly gee willikers

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