Should nurses strike? - page 5

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

  1. by   funnygirl_rn
    Bender...I really don't feel like grovelling with you or rnstudent. Have more interesting things to do with my time.
  2. by   Gator,SN
    Roxann, I applaud your responses to this thread!

    bender73:
    "The problem is, I am just saying what a lot of people think and you don't like to hear it. Oh well. Go gripe to the poor guy that used to make $80,000/yr in high tech and now has no job or any prospects due to the poor state of work in that field."

    *When nurses are able to make people aware of all the problems in nursing and the "poor state of work in this field" that cause them to strike in the first place, then maybe they will solve the high tech workers problems too!

    "What I do know is what I see and hear in the hospital and on the news."

    *And what the people on this board are trying to tell you is what they know from experience. They live and breathe it everyday. They don't have to watch the news or poll co-workers.

    "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"

    *Well, I guess your uncle should just suck it up and go to work and do his job!. He's lucky to have a job ya know! Besides, it won't be too long before corporate execs decide that someone much younger and less experienced would be better suited for his position, but hey, at least he has one right now. Theres no use looking toward the future or trying to make anything better. By the way who are YOU to talk to anyone about CEO's, your a NP remember, you don't know what a CEO does either, you only know what your uncle told you. Maybe Roxanne was a CEO before she became a nurse!

    "I had a chat with a random ER nurse today at work to get his opinion. I told him exactly what I said to see if I was really wrong in my thinking. He was totally in agreement with me. He was tired of picketing RNs so he changed hospitals."

    *Please tell me where this guy worked. If it happened so much that he got tired of it then inform the thousands of nurses on this board so they can avoid ever stepping foot in the place.

    "I guess if your not a floor nurse then we will never understand how horrible life is. Forget sweat shops, roofers that work 12 hour days in 90+ degree heat, pavers, miners, etc.. A 32-40 hour work week at $35+ dollars an hour is the pinnacle of hard labor. Oh the horror!!! "

    *Are you comparing college educated men and women with hard laborers....???
    because most roofers, plumbers and construction workers make more than that. WHen was the last time you called a plumber? Maybe you can find a website for pavers and miners and pat them on the back for all the hard work they do. Share the address, I'd like to add my comments too!


    To RNK:
    "My first post and all I get for a response is walk a mile in our shoes? Why not try walking a mile in my shoes. Some of you people make it sound like you have the one and only most demanding job in the world. Get a grip on reality. I worked with the most difficult, mentally ill, dangerous, and challenging people for long hours and under sub-par conditions. All you have to say is walk a mile in our shoes? "

    *Well, RNK, if it was so great and you didn't mind the conditions why did you quit? Actually what did you do for the person that was hired to take your place? Did you try to make the conditions better for them. How about your poor patients? If you are a psyche major then you already know that too many problem patients to only one counselor is detrimental to them and their progress. What did you do to help them? Your working conditions were "sub-par" as you put it, so what steps did you take to make sure that your patients, who are already at risk were protected????
    If the answer is, Nothing, then all you've done is contribute to the problem. If you went to management and complained then you are a whiner!

    Your answer has not explained to me why it is ok not to care anymore..

    *NO ONE on this board has ever said that it was OK not to care anymore! Actually most of the responses to this thread said the opposite. Did you bother to read them or were you just quick to jump in post to cause trouble?? If you are actually a student and going into nursing then you would know that an experienced nurse is a valuable asset and that college professors wouldn't tell you in a thousand years the real truth that is available on this board, if you take the time to read and research. "


    rested,
    Gator
    Last edit by Gator,SN on Jun 22, '03
  3. by   bender73
    Originally posted by funnygirl_rn
    Bender...I really don't feel like grovelling with you or rnstudent. Have more interesting things to do with my time.
    That's fine. All we have received is "give it a rest" from you and I am in la la land according to someone else. Just look at RNstudent's post and re-read some of mine. We're not degrading anyone here in particular but you and some others are quick to degrade us with comments.
    Last edit by bender73 on Jun 22, '03
  4. by   bender73
    Gator,

    Great response!!! Finally!!! Thank you. I see your points and I may not agree with all of them, but it made me think.

    I am not comparing laborers to RNs or NPs completely per se...I was merely getting tired of some other remarks and wanted to make the point that being an RN is not a horrible job where your forced to work in extreme conditions dictated sometimes by the environment. I was a paver. 12 hour days and lots of burns. Very hard work.

    I likely know a lot more about what CEOs do from my experience with my uncle and his many companies.

    I will obviously not mention the guy's name from the ER...but you already know that.

    I listen to what people on the board say and remember...I am also a nurse in a big hospital, I admit/follow pts, and I go from floor to floor so I see a lot.

    High tech failed because of the economy. Remember, we are in a service industry. A service industry differs from high tech in so far as high tech is predicated upon supply and demand...when the economy is sub-standard, product demand (hence development) goes down. Thus, supply and demand (combined with the economy) dictates business growth and also downsizing. We are actually very fortunate to be in a service industry.

    I think RNstudent reflects the attitude of a lot of young eager nurses and its our job to encourage and not say things like walk a mile in our shoes.
    Last edit by bender73 on Jun 22, '03
  5. by   teeituptom
    Howdy Yall

    This started as should nurses strike and would you cross the picket line ya'll
    But it did turn to a good example of why nursing unions dont have that much strength.
    1. Nurses all types if you want to type them, tend to have different gripes about the sustem.

    2. Nurses tend to believe what their strike leaders tell them.

    3. Nurses place different values on their gripes also. Some are calling for better pt care as the highest value of their concerns. Some deem higher pay to be their true value in their eyes. Some deem respect as a profession to be their greatest concern. Etc. Their are as many different values and concerns as there are nurses. The sad thing is intelligent, pridefilled nurses listening to all that unionist rhetoric. And then they do what their unions tell them to do. Unions arent our conciousness.


    4. So listen to the unions, and strike. I love strike busting money.


    5. THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF NURSES IN THE US. They are there but just choose not to work for whatever their personal reasons.

    6 I do agree that bringing in all these foriegners is to our detriment and isnt good for pt well being. Not by a lomg shot.
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    And Tom's post shows why a unionized ideology won't work . .. . nursing is too diverse with too many opinions about what is broke and how to fix it. There is no "one voice". Each individual working situation is different and needs to be handled by the people involved. I can represent myself quite adequately without paying some guy who dresses like the mafia and wears diamond rings bigger than Texas (hyperbole there folks about the diamond ring size but the union rep did dress like that).

    To answer the question, I would not strike.

    steph
  7. by   -jt
    <I can represent myself quite adequately without paying some guy who dresses like the mafia and wears diamond rings bigger than Texas (hyperbole there folks about the diamond ring size but the union rep did dress like that). >

    LOL!!! Omg! lol. Well, I dont know who that guy was but he couldnt possibly have been a nurse & that cant have been an RN union. We sure dont have any that fit that description running the nurses unions around here. STAFF NURSES run their union themselves. Ok so back to the question... would you strike?

    No you wouldnt, so what would you do then when your hospital has cut staff so much that you cant physically and safely care for the pts entrusted to you and you have no help, you are forced to be responsible for too many pts & cant give everything that each of them needs, and may miss subtle signs of problems in one while your too busy flying by the seat of your pants with the other 8, and your license is held on the line, or you are forced to work excessive hours that can cause you to be a threat to the pts safety yourself (cause you are vulnerable to making a medical error or other mistake due to being over-tired or overwhelmed), the hospital will not spend the money to hire the staff or provide the resources that you need for you to be able to do the job that your pts require of you, and the salary, benefits, administration attitudes towards nurses or whatever else it is that is making nurses stay away from jobs at your hospital will not be improved upon to help recruit & retain more nurses so you can have safe, manageable pt loads & do your job right. And management tells you to be glad you have a job & just deal with it - and will not discuss your concerns about the working conditions and how they affect the quality of pt care.

    What do you non-union nurses do? Just leave it at that? Or abandon those pts by quitting & looking for better employment?Dont your pts deserve a nurse who is a true pt advocate and fights for them to be in a safe environment, with a nurse who is able to function safely, optimally?

    Dont you care about the pts? Dont they deserve to have a nurse who is not exhausted and prone to making a mistake with their life? Dont they deserve a nurse who has a manageable pt load and give them the care they need?

    I mean no disrespect and maybe there are just plain differences in our regional cultures, but I fail to see how a nurse who is standing back quietly putting up with abusive, dangerous working conditions that she knows are negatively affecting the quality of pt care and is putting the pts at risk is being a "pt advocate". Allowing these kinds of conditions to perpetuate & doing nothing to stop it is more detrimental than giving a 10 day notice that you will no longer be party to putting your pts at risk with unsafe staffing & the like.

    Sometimes you have to draw the line & say "no more". We strike over pt safety issues. Recrutiment & retention incentives are part of that because if nobody wants to work at that hospital, there can be no safe staffing. Strikes are a last resort when all else has failed to get the hospital to respond. The hostpial has 10 days to move pts to other facilities, cancel elective surgeries & stop admissions. That monetary incentive is usually enough to get them to start talking about the issues & make compromises & the strike many times doesnt even happen. In the rare time that a strike does happen, nurses are available to care for the pts. No pt is abandoned in a strike. If the hospital chooses to disreagrd its pts, does not downsize its pt population during the 10 day notice, & allows the pts to be kept in the midst of it all, that is a point to take up with management, not the nurses who are on strike.

    I really would like to know what do you non-unions nurses do when the situation is dangerous for you & your pts and your hospital will not address your concerns? Grinning & bearing it & "doing your best" while allowing your pts to continue to be subjected to an environment that cant give them the care they need and may even harm them does not seem to be the best option. It also flies in the face of your nurse practice act & national code of nurse ethics that both require you to protect your pt from harm & to speak out against anything that might cause them harm.

    So if you dont strike, what DO you do to get things like unsafe staffing practices fixed when your employer wont pay any attention to you?
    Last edit by -jt on Jun 22, '03
  8. by   Hardknox
    Originally posted by RNstudentK
    Wow, some of you people have a serious chip on your shoulder. So much bitterness.

    Hardknox,
    My first post and all I get for a response is walk a mile in our shoes? Why not try walking a mile in my shoes. Some of you people make it sound like you have the one and only most demanding job in the world. Get a grip on reality. I worked with the most difficult, mentally ill, dangerous, and challenging people for long hours and under sub-par conditions. All you have to say is walk a mile in our shoes?

    Again...backed up into a corner...and your reply to my honest and respectful answer was demeaning and callous. I don't understand you???? you are a nurse, right??? Why so hostile and bitter to a nursing student who like other nursing students look up to you and follow in your footsteps to become good nurses. Is this what you are going to say to every eager nursing student only wanting what's best for the patient is. "Walk a mile and our shoes and see if you sing the same song." I also cannot understand why you single out and label people (i.e. "nursing student" and "Nurse Practitioner). Yes. we may have different titles but we all went into the medical profession for a reason...To help... Your answer has not explained to me why it is ok not to care anymore...why it is ok to practice negligance and leave a patient's bedside. I know in my heart that I cannot leave a sick patient waiting for his/her pain med to go and picket.

    Again, this is my opinion. I welcome intelligent and respectful thoughts on what I am writing. I do not welcome cold and callous remarks. This may be a "touchy" subject with many but I know that RESPECT can go a long way. Take a step back and think before you reply.

    Thank you :-)


    There is nothing demeaning or callous in my post. After you become a bedside nurse and have been on the forefront of nursing as many of us have (ie:"walk in our shoes") I want you to come back and tell us if you feel the same as your #1 post. That is not demeaning you, that is telling it like it usually is. Having NOT been a nurse yet, it is very easy to be so sure of yourself. Again--walk a mile in our shoes, then tell us what you think.

    Are you aware that statistics say that most new grads last less than 2 years in nursing???
    Last edit by Hardknox on Jun 22, '03
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Yes, the union reps did dress like that and no, they weren't a nursing union per se . . . .I cannot remember which one it was though. Pretty funny in a farming/logging community to have those guys show up. We voted the union down.


    I guess I am lucky here. Rural nursing means the hospital does not have a huge pool of nurses to choose from. They NEED us. So we sorta have them over a barrel so to speak.

    Actually, they have responded very well to our needs. When I first started 5 years ago I usually had 8-10 pts (when we were busy) and worked 90-100 hours at times and I was getting burned out fast. After the union vote, we all met with administration and I very bluntly told them I could not continue working the hours I was working, that I had a family and their needs came first. Anyway, long story short . . .we have been staffing by aquities and things are better. Plus, I now work part-time since having a baby two years ago.

    If I worked in a large city and encountered the problems you have described, I'd give working within the system a try and then I'd give two weeks notice and find another job. They would have two weeks to call in a traveler.

    steph
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by RNstudentK
    I just graduated from a highly ranked prestigious University where I studied psychology and I still and will never assume what people are thinking. I am now a nursing student who works very hard. I know what is ahead and I am ready to work long hard hours. What I am not ready for is to leave my patient's bed side when they need me most. We are suppose to be advocates for the Patients...We are not suppose to abandon and neglect people when they need us most. The patients that come in are sick and frightened...they don't need nurses who took the oath to be the patients' advocates leaving them when they are most vulnerable. If you picket....I will be there picking up your slack and taking care of my patients. My point is that nurses go into this profession because they have something that no other profession has....We CARE....How can you care when you are leaving them. There has to be a better solution than to practice negligance.
    So does that mean I have no right to protest an assignment to float to pediatrics? I have been an adult nurse in five decades. The fact that I have BLS and PALS does not make a beloved child safe in my care! When told by hospital management, "Go or be fired what to do?
    1. Risk the very lives of sick children as the only RN on the unit?
    2. Quit the job to avoid being fired?
    3. Stay at the hospital ready, willing, and ABLE to care for adults. Leave when told you are fired and therefore trespassing, then file a grievance. Win your job back in arbitration. Tell the above to fellow nurses, propose a ban on floating without validated competency (the law in my state).
    4. Give a ten day strike notice when the management refuses to discuss the issue of floating competency at the bargaining table?


    It was not me. I was the first test because of having taken PALS This was used to assign me to be charge on pediatrics. It was after the hospital went back to the table, allowed the text of their own licensing regulations to be in the contract with RNs. There was NO STRIKE, but it would have happened if the hospital had refused to agree in writing to follow the law!
    I told the supervisor, "I have not been oriented or trained as a peds nurse. This assignment is unsafe. She magically got the nurse manager of peds to come in until a competenct registry nurse could come in. Then we worked there together.
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    Not even the elected Officers of the all RN union would tell the RNs at a facility to strike! Without overwhelming support nurses will not strike. That is good. As the last resort after all other means to force management to do their job of running a hospital have been exhausted almost all nurses will quit or strike. Sad it comes to that.
    From the STAFF NURSE GUIDE:

    Strike Facts
    With CNA, strikes are rare and are typically 1-3 days. A strike is the most
    drastic tactic and it is used with caution and careful preparation. Nurses voted
    to strike in only 18 CNA contract negotiations out of more than 375 in the past
    ten years. In 95% of CNA's negotiations, RNs have successfully negotiated
    contracts without strikes.

    RNs organize to improve patient care and their working lives and
    professionals, not to strike

    When RNs do vote to strike, they create mechanisms to ensure the well being of their
    patients and the community. These include a Patient Protection Task Force and a ten-day
    written strike notice to give the hospital time to prepare.
    Strike Facts
    With CNA, strikes are rare and are typically 1-3 days. A strike is the most
    drastic tactic and it is used with caution and careful preparation. Nurses voted
    to strike in only 18 CNA contract negotiations out of more than 375 in the past
    ten years. In 95% of CNA's negotiations, RNs have successfully negotiated
    contracts without strikes.

    RNs organize to improve patient care and their working lives and
    professionals, not to strike

    When RNs do vote to strike, they create mechanisms to ensure the well being of their
    patients and the community. These include a Patient Protection Task Force and a ten-day
    written strike notice to give the hospital time to prepare.
    Only RNs themselves can decide to strike

    CNA organizers, representatives, or other staff do not call strikes. A strike occurs only after
    a majority of the represented nurse in your hospital decide to do so in a secret ballot strike
    vote.


    How CNA Nurses Protect Patients in the Event of a Strike

    When CNA RNs strike, they create several mechanisms to ensure the
    well-being of their patients and community.

    Ten-Day Notice: The nurses give the hospital written notice, ten days in
    advance, of their intent to strike as required by law. This is to give the hospital
    time to stop admitting new patients and begin the process of transferring
    patients who can be safely moved.

    Patient Protection Task Force: A task force of RNs meet to help make the
    process of patient transfers and hospital phase down go as smoothly as
    possible. Several days before the strike begins, the task force will determine
    which patients may be safely transferred each day.

    Nurse-Controlled Emergency Care: The Patient Protection Task Force will
    make a professional nursing assessment of each situation where emergency
    assistance is requested after the strike begins and will assign a nurse to
    stabilize the patient if necessary.
  12. by   donmurray
    RNstudentK, your naivety shines like a beacon through your post. Listen to your experienced elders.

    "I just left a job where I taught mentally and behaviorally challenged teenages from the ages of 12 to 18....the next step for these kids was jail or a psych. ward...they had diagnoses of oppositional defiant disorder, ADD, ADHD, schizophrenia, Bipolar and so on. I got verbally abused by these kids and only received $14 an hour. Even though I was a 22 year old female teaching way to many challeged kids at once, I did not complain or give up because I knew these kids needed me. At times I was scared for being a young female among sexual abusers and no one else to support me."

    Choosing where to start is difficult....

    You were willing to work alone, understaffed, with a dangerous patient group, whilst fearful for your personal safety, being verbally abused, without complaint.
    Individuals willing to work under those conditions are a danger to themselves, their patients, and their colleagues, to whom they are held up as an example of how "Good" nurses should behave.

    Even with adequate staffing, risk assessment, and security staff, a UK nurse died on a ward (floor?) at the hands of a patient this week. Nurses may be providing a caring service, but they all deserve to go home at the end of their shift, safe and well. If management cannot or will not provide a safe workplace, then a nurse has the right to choose not to enter it. Unions are not just about pay.
  13. by   bender73
    donmurray, you said...
    "You were willing to work alone, understaffed, with a dangerous patient group, whilst fearful for your personal safety, being verbally abused, without complaint.
    Individuals willing to work under those conditions are a danger to themselves, their patients, and their colleagues, to whom they are held up as an example of how "Good" nurses should behave."

    Your calling her a danger to herself and her patients? Are you serious? That is one of the most absurd statements I have read. Your taking a person who works with troubled kids and does not complain about hard work and say she is a danger? She is obviously a dedicated teacher and chose to work in an environment that a lot of people would probably be afraid to work in.

    You say she is a danger to her colleagues as well?

    Absurd. I swear I don't know where some people get their logic!!!

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