Should nurses strike? - page 6

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

  1. by   pickledpepperRN
    Seems like common sense to me that a dead nurse will not be providing any more care!
    Who cannot distinguish between "hard work" and "UNSAFE"? Unsafe for the patients and for the staff!


    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...&threadid=5515
    Please read the above link to a discussion regarding an RN killed by a patient. Please read below to find what a group of experienced nurses did. I believe the state did uphold common sense as well as the law.

    Publication date: 08/19/2002
    Nurses are sick of attacks by patients
    BY J.K. DINEEN
    Of The Examiner Staff
    ____An alarming number of psychiatric nurses at San Francisco General
    Hospital have been brutally attacked by patients in recent months.

    ____Nurses at the hospital say more than 15 of their co-workers have been
    attacked, prompting Supervisor Gavin Newsom to request a hearing on the
    matter and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to investigate.

    ____Newsom, who will bring the issue up at today's Board of Supervisors
    meeting, said The City has "an obligation to make sure nurses and doctors feel
    safe when they go to work every day."

    ____"I have a fundamental belief that if you can't protect your staff, what
    kind of message is that sending from a management perspective?" Newsom
    said.

    ____OSHA spokesman Dean Fryer said the agency is investigating the
    complaints and is examining whether the hospital has "improper safety
    communication and workplace safety issues."

    ____Newsom's action comes after a string of attacks that have put several
    nurses out of work.

    ____In late July, a female nurse working the night shift was "beat down" and
    bitten by an immune-compromised patient with hepatitis C, according to
    interviews with a half-dozen nurses on the unit. Several days following that
    incident, a loaded pistol was found in a patient's duffle bag in Ward 7B.

    ____"The gun was the line in the sand," said Roland Washington, nurse and
    shop steward of Service Employees International Union Local 250. "For most
    people, it was like, 'I can't take it any more.'"

    ____One victim, Karen Briggs, was injured so badly during an attack that it's
    unlikely she will ever work again. Briggs and another nurse were attempting to
    put a violent patient into wrist restraints on Oct. 30 when she was knocked
    down with punches to the jaw and upper body.

    ____"She hit me so hard in the jaw she knocked my bridge out," said Briggs.

    ____The assault also dissected Briggs' vertical artery, which caused a blood
    clot to form. Briggs, 61, said she consequently lost all vision in her right eye
    and her finances have disintegrated to the point where she is filing for
    bankruptcy.

    ____Nurses are hoping the hospital will beef up security, with regular police
    rounds through the wards.

    ____They also want the hospital to invest in a more sophisticated alarm
    system -- which would have individual nurses carry mobile alarms for
    emergencies -- and want hospital management and the court system to
    prosecute assaults more seriously.

    ____"There are not a lot of them, but there are a few patients who spend all
    day saying 'I'm going to kick your ass,'" said Washington. "And then they do
    it."

    ____A hospital spokeswoman said she could not comment on the recent
    allegations, and the deputy director of the psychiatric unit did not return calls
    on Sunday.

    ____Ron Bingham, who has been a nurse for 20 years, said patients are
    generally younger than they were a decade ago, and more likely to be drug
    addicts. He said many come to the unit straight from jail after charges against
    them have been dropped.

    ____"Some days, it feels like a powder keg with all the tension," said nurse Jeff
    Gaughan. "The patients are terrified, too. How safe can they feel when they
    see the staff getting attacked?"


    greg in mass
    " A nurse was killed on the job [in Florida]by a patient at a psychiatric
    facility. I feel deeply sorry for this nurse and everyone who was involved.
    Some people do not realize how violent psychiatric facilities can be. Many
    times if you compare a psychiatric facility with a prison, you will see that the
    violence levels and injuries on staff and other patients happen more often at
    psychiatric facilities. To be honest with you, I'm not surprised that this has
    happened. Why? Because I have worked in psyche for many years, and
    dangerous things happen often....especially when there is insuffient amount of
    staff."
    ------------------------
    jimbob
    "Let's hope that no-one else has to die, but I not putting any money on this gamble... Would you?"
    -----------------
    Amy_psychrn
    "I work as an RN on a 14 bed adolescent psychiatric unit. We too have all the safety measures; belongings search of new admissions, no contraband(pt's can't even wear shoes), silverware sign out, etc.

    However, it is unfortunate for me to say that I too, have experienced work
    place violence. Almost a year ago, a co-worker was sitting with a constant
    visual obs pt. who was displaying S&S of psychosis. It was after 9p.m and
    there were only 2 staff on due to our census. This staff person was attacked,
    punched and kicked several times before the 2nd staff could come to her
    defense. Still, there was 15 minutes that went by before they could restrain
    this pt. and get to the phone and call for help.
    -------------------------
    I, also work in an adolescent unit. I work in a state mental hospital.
    We use CPI, and it is good, as long as you can trust that your partner is going
    along with you. These psych units can be so dangerous, it's scarey.... last
    year about this time, I was attacked, by a girl was had managed to pull her
    had free out of a restraint cuff (so she had BOTH hands free) during her
    rotation cycle, and it took 6 staff to free her hands from my throat and hair. It
    wasn't pretty. Not something easy to forget.
    -----------------------------------

    This staff person is still suffering the consequences of the attack."
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...type=printable
    Strike averted at 2 hospitals
    Tentative contracts with nurses
    Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Saturday, July 13, 2002
    2003 San Francisco Chronicle | Feedback
    ----------------------------------
    URL: http://www.calnurse.org/cna/news/cna.htm

    After six days of reducing the number of patients and services in preparation for a potential nurses' strike, St.
    Luke's Hospital in San Francisco and its nurses' union have reached a tentative agreement, averting a one-day
    walkout next week.

    Late Friday afternoon, the nurses also called off a potential July 17 strike at Alta Bates-Summit Medical Center in
    Berkeley and Oakland, where 1, 500 nurses work.
  2. by   bender73
    spacenurse,

    I understand, but how does that make RNstudent a danger to her pts and colleagues? That statement makes little sense and somewhat belittles her.
  3. by   Gator,SN
    You say she is a danger to her colleagues as well?

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


    bender, where is your logic about this matter?? ANYTIME a therapeutic milieu and effective nurse-patient realtionship cannot be maintained, all parties involves are at risk! The patient, the nurse, the visitors, other patients and her co-workers! Safety is always the number one goal! If this is not acheived, then there is no way to move on to any therapeutic intervention for the client. Since you are a NP you are aware of the effects of ODD and the fact that you would defend, in any manner, the type of working conditions that that RNstudent describes makes me seriously wonder if you even went to nusing school, musch less advanced practice! Hello?? psyche 101.....ring a bell? What did you learn about milieu management?
    "Hard work" as you put it, is far from the point in this matter. Ineffective outpatient therapy will eventually land her patients in the very jails and psyche wards that she pretends to want to keep them from. They will not be small children forever.
    You stated that you work in an ER, are you implying that in your practice of nursing that when a psyche patient comes into the ER and is verbally aggressive or insulting, you simply "put up with it" because you think that it makes you are good nurse by not saying anything about it? You have done nothing to aid your client or your coworkers, therefor you have contributed to the danger of yourself and others. That is the whole point! The nurse has treatment responsibilites and can be held liable if the patient does not recieve adequate treatment in a timely manner. By the way,Terasoff act sound familiar?? Do you follow the law, or just turn a blind eye?
    I cannot believe that RNstudent would be foolish enough to come on here saying shes a psychology major and then actually admit that she has, in the past thrown her patients, (poor sick children) to the wolves with her stupidity and total lack of knowledge and then hide behind, "I work hard and don't complain"....how absurd!
    It is a good thing that Rnstudent got out of the facility she worked in....good for the patients and families that is.

    I guess I'll just wait and see if she bothers to come up with a response, though I doubt it. You really don't need to defend someone you don't even know bender, you have no clue what is in the mind of another person.
    Gator
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by bender73
    spacenurse,

    I understand, but how does that make RNstudent a danger to her pts and colleagues? That statement makes little sense and somewhat belittles her.
    Bender:
    I am sorry. I seem to have misunderstood you. Perhaps donmurray did as well.
    The situation described was clearly dangerous. That does not mean that the education and experience of nursing school and beyond won't lead to RNstudent being a fine nurse.
  5. by   Gator,SN
    WHERE'S CLINT??
  6. by   bender73
    No problem spacenurse.
  7. by   donmurray
    In some ways, it is about control. The clients are there because they are not in control of themselves in some manner. If you are not in control, as is apparent from the described situation, then anything may happen. If one tolerates a workplace environment such as described without complaint, then while you are there, not only do you place yourself at risk, and the clients, but you perpetuate an unsafe situation, placing your colleagues at risk also.
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by donmurray
    In some ways, it is about control. The clients are there because they are not in control of themselves in some manner. If you are not in control, as is apparent from the described situation, then anything may happen. If one tolerates a workplace environment such as described without complaint, then while you are there, not only do you place yourself at risk, and the clients, but you perpetuate an unsafe situation, placing your colleagues at risk also.
    I agree.
    In the situation described by the nursing student the school, treatment facility, or whatever she worked for should not have had an inexperienced teacher with too many incompetent students. It was the management even more than her placing all in peril.
    I work nights in critical care. I have a letter of praise for being in charge and accepting 5 of my own patients. This was wrong, illegal, and unsafe! Why did they not plan to never have such happen again instead of praising me for coping with an unsafe situation.
    Later I became the 'troublemaker' for leading a drive to stop unsafe staffing. I still work there because we have a union, staff and unit manager agree and understand.
    Otherwise it would have been resignation.
  9. by   Hardknox
    I commend you, Spacenurse. THAT is what Nursing is all about. Helping your peers AND your patients by saying "Enough! it's not safe" and following through, not being the "good girl" and sucking it up when management is truly cra pping on you and the patients.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    It takes most nursing staff educated to the regulations and unwilling to put patients in danger.
    Incident reports telling of errors due to short staffing do wonders with our administration.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Jun 23, '03
  11. by   bender73
    Originally posted by donmurray
    In some ways, it is about control. The clients are there because they are not in control of themselves in some manner. If you are not in control, as is apparent from the described situation, then anything may happen. If one tolerates a workplace environment such as described without complaint, then while you are there, not only do you place yourself at risk, and the clients, but you perpetuate an unsafe situation, placing your colleagues at risk also.
    Your missing the point!!! She is not simply tolerating the environment...that IS the environment. She works with troubled kids that either go to jail or this school. There are safety measures in place but what do you want to do, handcuff the kids to their desks all day? Its not a PRISON. There are some jobs that do have inherant risk...i.e. a police officer. By your logic then a police officer is a danger to his/her colleagues as well as themself for tolerating their work environment. That is how you sound.
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by bender73
    Your missing the point!!! She is not simply tolerating the environment...that IS the environment. She works with troubled kids that either go to jail or this school. There are safety measures in place but what do you want to do, handcuff the kids to their desks all day? Its not a PRISON. There are some jobs that do have inherant risk...i.e. a police officer. By your logic then a police officer is a danger to his/her colleagues as well as themself for tolerating their work environment. That is how you sound.
    Seems to me, not a psychiatric nurse or mental health professional, that there needed to be more staff. Perhaps an assistant or two. One to protect the students and teacher, the other to get help.
  13. by   bender73
    There always seems to be a simple answer to everything, huh? More staff. More staff. More staff!!! In a perfect world maybe. In the nurse's utopian vision all would be well with more staff, better pt ratios, more money, better shifts, etc.. The fact is, this is the "now" and the direction healthcare is heading is following more of a business model. Is that good? Well, yes and no. Is socialized medicine good? Yes and no. There are no absolutes and its not JUST the job of the nurse, doctor, or whatever to fight change all the time...you gotta learn to roll with the punches a bit more. There are other ways to go about making healthcare better. Newspapers, radio, TV, the internet, lobbying, etc.. The point being...stay in the hospital and take care of the patient. Striking, IMO, is very close to abandonment. You can argue with me all you want but that does not change the fact that the moment you walk out that door, you have abandoned your patients...and that I find more disturbing than anything else.
    Last edit by bender73 on Jun 24, '03

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