Nurses rally at Texas Capitol building - page 4

Nurses rally at Texas Capitol building They devote their lives to helping patients, now they're asking for the state's help. Tuesday, dozens of nurses from across the state rallied at the State... Read More

  1. by   PMHNP10
    Quote from mdfog10
    I have met Nurses from Texas who support this legislation 100%. They are tired of not having a voice and fearing for the loss of a job.
    I absolutely support it, but do understand the reservations expressed by the TNA regarding all areas of nursing not having the same protection when it comes to advocating for patients. But let's be honest... the main shortage in nursing is at the bedside (and said shortage is going to be much worse, sooner rather than later. Sure we need more educators, more public health people, etc., but are there shortages in those areas because of their hands being tied when patients need to be advocated for?
    I just can't look past the ratios in this issue when it comes to advocacy. Currently, nurses have a choice...they can refuse an unsafe assignment (hence advocate for the patient safety) and risk being nudged right out the front door. The TX BNE has explicitly stated they do NOT care about issues between the nurse and the employee; therefore, you get to keep your license, but lose your paycheck. Maybe not such a bad thing for some, but let's say you live deep in the middle of nowhere and already commute 50 miles to the nearest hospital; now what do you do--maybe the local Piggly Wiggly is hiring? Conversely, they can accept the assignment, therefore greatly increasing the probability of making an error, further resulting in an appearance before the BNE, and possible loss of license. So what do you have...Rock....hard spot.
    And I also wonder if the TNA dislikes this bill because it's being backed by unions and concerned about unions worming their way into TX hospitals (ok, call me a conspiracy theorist)???? I certainly hope that is not a factor, but, well, I think it's reasonable to believe the dreaded possiblility of unionization in TX might be stirring somewhere deep in their subconscious.
    But hey...as soon as they whip up some better solutions, I'll be all ears. I mean they've been around since 1960; surely they have some great ideas...I wonder why they've been holding onto them all this time? Don't they know there's a shortage to address?
  2. by   JB28930
    i work as a nurse tech on a ortho / med surg. floor in texas. i have 8 patients to be responsible for. sometimes the rn's have 8-10 patients. tna is also trying to get the bne to set up new regulations stating that a nurse can not work more than 12 in 24 hours, and put restrictions on the total number of hours per week to somewhere around 60 i think. i know certain areas around here have to have nurses that work over 60 hours a week just to have enough people to staff the hospital. if they put these other regulations into effect that will only increase the already stretched workload that nurses already have. it would be great to get a nurse patient ratio, but where are the nurses coming from...
  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    We have been successful in California. Nurses who worked at Starbucks and department stores came back to the hospital.
    I know of many hospitals that have very few openings.

    We do have lots of wonderful Texas nurses as travelers. Some of them may choose to work closer to home if they have a safe assignment.

    http://www.calnurses.org/assets/pdf/...n_shortage.pdf
  4. by   JB28930
    Im sure that is true alot of nurses probably quit from being over worked and stressed out all the time. Did they have to end up raising wages to attract them back into the profession, or were they satisfied enough with the improved working conditions?
  5. by   purplemania
    Every time I see this headline I get furious. This event was backed by a union from CALIFORNIA. The issues they raised are already part of the Texas Nurse Practice Act - which means someone did not take time to read it. Texas already has a whistleblower act, a safe harbor act, a safe patient handling act (first state to have it) and other issues. The lack of professionalism on the part of these outsiders indicates to me they are interested more in union dues than nurses. For one thing, they bill calls for changes made for SOME nurses, not all. I find this unethical. The right thing is the right thing. Thank goodness Texas is a right to work state. Even if a union were to get into my hospital I would not have to join. BTW, if this was such a great idea for nursing why aren't they picketing every capital instead of the state with such a large population of nurses?
  6. by   RN34TX
    Quote from purplemania
    Every time I see this headline I get furious. This event was backed by a union from CALIFORNIA. The issues they raised are already part of the Texas Nurse Practice Act - which means someone did not take time to read it. Texas already has a whistleblower act, a safe harbor act, a safe patient handling act (first state to have it) and other issues.
    Which you stated in another post except this time, you conveniently left out the part where last time you stated that Texas already had mandatory nurse/patient ratios, which is not true and so ironic as Texas has an infamous reputation in the travel nurse community.
    Unsafe staffing ratios are the biggest reason why Texas has such a bad reputation in the travel nurse community. Many refuse to take assignments in Texas specifically because of the unsafe patient assignments.
    The lack of professionalism on the part of these outsiders indicates to me they are interested more in union dues than nurses.
    These outsiders?
    I love Texas in many ways (outside of the nursing/administration culure) and that's why I live here but I do grow tired of Texas being yet another Southern "Good Ole Boys Club."
    It's time for change and my generation is going to bring it on in the Lone Star State. It's time to do away with the white caps and the handmaiden image of nurses in Texas. There just has to be enough of us who are not interested in "not making waves" because of our impending retirement or the many promises of promotion from administration.
    Why are Texas nurses so against unions?
    I've never been pro-union myself having worked in both environments, but I can't figure out why in a state well known and documented for exploiting nurses (i.e. Group One in DFW, Dorothy Del Bueno and her PBDS assessment, etc.) who obviously is in the most dire need of protection, would not at least be remotely interested in unions.
    Thank goodness Texas is a right to work state. Even if a union were to get into my hospital I would not have to join. BTW, if this was such a great idea for nursing why aren't they picketing every capital instead of the state with such a large population of nurses?
    Thank goodness?
    Unless you are a business owner or administrator, why would you be thankful that Texas is a right to work state? Right to work takes all of the rights away from the employee and into the employer, who has the power to hire and fire at the drop of a hat.

    Should we Texas nurses be thankful that our right to work laws allow room for a manager to take out their rage by firing an employee because they are wearing red scrubs on a particular day, or are obstructing a manager's friend from getting a job or promotion because one of us on the "outside" may be more qualified than they are, yet we are getting in the way of the "Good Ole Boys Club" mentality?

    The large population of nurses as you've noted, is second only to California.
    We are professionals, not 16 year old workers at Burger King, and I think it's time we started putting hospital administrations in their place, rather than the other way around.

    They need us, we do not need them.

    Hospital administrators, managers, etc. are a dime a dozen. Nothing but burned out and/or ambitious nurses in suits with sooooo many theories and ideas about what good patient care is, yet they have no desire to provide such care themselves.

    Seasoned/well experienced ICU And Med/Surg nurses?
    Not so much a dime a dozen and no hospital could function without them.
    We have the power.
  7. by   sshannon
    I am a student in my 3rd of 4 semesters in a Texas ADN program. I have been following this issue with great interest.

    I, along with a retired RN that I help care for, will be at the Texas capitol on 03-05-07. In addition to lending support, we have an appointment with our state representative to talk with him about the Patient Protection Act.

    Although I am not yet employed as an RN, I want to get involved now to ensure I am able to provide the best care possible for my patients. I have friends who've graduated ahead of me, who are now working, and who've had their ideals pretty thoroughly crushed by the day-to-day reality of working on a med-surg floor.

    As an aside, one of my instructors who keeps up with legislation related to nursing mentioned in class a couple weeks ago that there's a move afoot to do away with the BNE and assign its responsibilities to some state agency. I don't have any details, but wondered if anyone else in TX had heard anything about this???
  8. by   PMHNP10
    Quote from sshannon
    I am a student in my 3rd of 4 semesters in a Texas ADN program. I have been following this issue with great interest. I, along with a retired RN that I help care for, will be at the Texas capitol on 03-05-07. In addition to lending support, we have an appointment with our state representative to talk with him about the Patient Protection Act. Although I am not yet employed as an RN, I want to get involved now to ensure I am able to provide the best care possible for my patients. I have friends who've graduated ahead of me, who are now working, and who've had their ideals pretty thoroughly crushed by the day-to-day reality of working on a med-surg floor.
    Good for you. Outstanding that you would have the foresight to get involved to protect your future license.


    Quote from sshannon
    As an aside, one of my instructors who keeps up with legislation related to nursing mentioned in class a couple weeks ago that there's a move afoot to do away with the BNE and assign its responsibilities to some state agency. I don't have any details, but wondered if anyone else in TX had heard anything about this???
    I noticed your profile says Central TX. Are you a MCC student? or Temple or Hill, etc.?
  9. by   RN4PatientCare
    Quote from purplemania
    Every time I see this headline I get furious. This event was backed by a union from CALIFORNIA. The issues they raised are already part of the Texas Nurse Practice Act - which means someone did not take time to read it. Texas already has a whistleblower act, a safe harbor act, a safe patient handling act (first state to have it) and other issues. The lack of professionalism on the part of these outsiders indicates to me they are interested more in union dues than nurses. For one thing, they bill calls for changes made for SOME nurses, not all. I find this unethical. The right thing is the right thing. Thank goodness Texas is a right to work state. Even if a union were to get into my hospital I would not have to join. BTW, if this was such a great idea for nursing why aren't they picketing every capital instead of the state with such a large population of nurses?
    Right to work really equates to employer benefits...NONE for the employee! Texans are very ignorant when it comes to what this really means and how unions operate for the benefit of the worker.

    I work at a major Dallas hospital, Ortho/Neuro, and have an average of 5-6 patients. If this number increased I would leave. Higher ratios directly jeopardize patient safety, not to mention that my license is put on the line for things that are out of my control. In addition, managers and administrators continue to put additional paperwork and process in place that cut into actual patient care time.

    As for "Safe Harbor", I'd like to actually see someone use that!
    The Nurse Practice Act is open to all kinds of interpretation, there are no actual numbers or in stone guidelines.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Feb. 28, 2007, 7:58PM

    Texas, take care of nurses the way they care for us


    Limiting the RN-to-patient ratios in hospitals saves lives

    ...Imagine, being alone and sick in the hospital. It's a frightening and stressful experience, but you can always count on one person to be at your bedside: the registered nurse. RNs are on the front lines of our medical system, and every family in the state will eventually rely on their care....

    ...The sad fact is that Texas nurses do not have the support they need to do their job. We're seeing an exodus of RNs from the hospital bedside because of hazardous working conditions and dangerously unsafe assignments that are not up to national standards. This must change.

    Right now, for example, hospitals can assign an RN an unlimited number of patients to care for, meaning they don't have the time to assess and properly care for any of them. This problem is particularly acute because patients who stay in hospitals today are much sicker and have more complex medical treatments and drugs required than in past years....

    ...Recruitment and retention of nurses will also be improved considerably if we can write into law strong whistle-blower protections, including the right and legal obligation to be a patient advocate. We should never put RNs in the position of having to choose between protecting their livelihood and protecting their patients-and probably few Texans even know that nurses sometimes face this agonizing decision. When RNs can safely advocate for their patients, Texas hospitals will be able to deliver care that truly puts the needs of patients first.
    Registered nurses are at the heart of our medical system. It's time for Texas to take care of them-so they can take care of us and our family members....

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...k/4591290.html
  11. by   sshannon
    Quote from psychrn03
    Good for you. Outstanding that you would have the foresight to get involved to protect your future license.




    I noticed your profile says Central TX. Are you a MCC student? or Temple or Hill, etc.?
    I am a student at Austin Community College. I think it's a wonderful program. Patient advocacy is encouraged, as is the view of nursing as a profession...not just a paycheck.
  12. by   Sheri257
    Quote from purplemania
    The lack of professionalism on the part of these outsiders indicates to me they are interested more in union dues than nurses.
    There's a lot to criticize with unions, but claiming that the California Nurses Association is only interested in union dues is just plain wrong. :angryfire

    Where so many others have failed ... they got the ONLY ratio law passed in this country that benfitted ALL RN's in California ... 80 percent of whom DO NOT belong to a union.

    If all CNA cared about was union dues, they wouldn't have gotten a ratio law passed which benefits the 270,000 non-union nurses in this state who don't pay CNA one dime.

    They could have just negotiated staffing ratios for their dues paying members in their own contracts. Instead, they spent a ton of money fighting the governor and defending the ratio law in court multiple times so non-union nurses could benefit.

    Since that ratio law took effect, nearly 40,000 new RN's have become licensed in this state. When you consider the fact that California nursing schools only produce 6,000 new RN's a year, you can see how much CNA has improved working conditions for thousands of RN's who have come here because we are the only state that has a ratio law.

    If anything ... non-union California RN's have gotten a free ride on the backs of CNA nurses who paid those dues for years to get that ratio law passed. We should be thanking them, not criticizing them.

    It makes me very angry when people claim that CNA only cares about union dues. Yes, they need money to finance their operations like anybody else. But their actions prove they go above and beyond on behalf of all RN's whether they collect dues from them or not.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 3, '07
  13. by   woundhealer2
    Quote from RN4PatientCare
    Right to work really equates to employer benefits...NONE for the employee! Texans are very ignorant when it comes to what this really means and how unions operate for the benefit of the worker.

    I work at a major Dallas hospital, Ortho/Neuro, and have an average of 5-6 patients. If this number increased I would leave. Higher ratios directly jeopardize patient safety, not to mention that my license is put on the line for things that are out of my control. In addition, managers and administrators continue to put additional paperwork and process in place that cut into actual patient care time.

    As for "Safe Harbor", I'd like to actually see someone use that!
    The Nurse Practice Act is open to all kinds of interpretation, there are no actual numbers or in stone guidelines.


    Amen to that! Texas is notoriously an employer state. You can be fired just because. And I was. I feel I was wrongly terminated and allegations arose from rumor and innuendo and guess who got canned? ME!
    I can't do a thing about it and I've spoken with several employment law attorneys that were kind enough to tell me unless you want to throw your money away and give it to me, go ahead and I'll take on your case.
    It's pitiful here how we are being walked all over and have no rights because an employer can terminate you just because. And guess what.......when the workforce commission for unemployment benefits called my HR director and read her the definition of misconduct, she could not say, yes , she had to tell her NO................I was NOT terminated for misconduct ...so now I'm collecting unemployment benefits and trying like crazy to fix my head and my heart that is completely broken over all of this. I feel so violated. So yeah bring on the unions and sign me up so no one ever has to go through the pain, heart ache and PTSD I have!!!
    Sorry off topic but thanks for letting me vent!
    Sign me,
    still in shock in TX.......actually I've gone through that stage of grief and now I'm on............well I don't know where I am in my 5 stages of grief.....maybe ANGER??!

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