Union asks nurses at the University of Massachusetts to OK strike - page 4

union asks nurses at the university of massachusetts to ok strike... Read More

  1. by   fins 2 left
    Quote from Ezra73
    i agree, but you are already well-compensated and the fact that you want more appears greedy to a lot of people. who, in turn, lose respect for you.

    i know many RNs that work three 12hr shifts and make over 100K/yr. yet, i also know of ATTENDING MDs that make 100-130K/yr and work more hours and have a greater responsibility than an RN ultimately has.

    what is your justification for striking when you're already compensated so well? all i can see (and a lot of other people) is simply greed. why do you feel that you deserve an MD's salary when an MD has far more education, student loans, hours per week, responsibility, etc.? what is your justification for this?

    i know not all RNs make this much, but many do...and they strike.


    I have just started nursing school in a second degree program.

    We just learned this week that the NURSE is LEAGALLY responsible for all medications given to the patient. It would not matter if it was the doctors misjudgement or mistake or wrong order.

    To me, That seems to be a lot of responsibility!
  2. by   MuddaMia
    Quote from Ezra73
    maybe i was just raised to work "too hard" and maybe that is a fault of mine...not a bad fault, however.

    Good Possibilty. And maybe my beliefs in hard work and responsibilty to fight for a just cause stem from being raised in a family with a father who was a union journeyman electrician and a mother who was a civil rights activist.
  3. by   Ezra73
    Quote from fins 2 left
    I have just started nursing school in a second degree program.

    We just learned this week that the NURSE is LEAGALLY responsible for all medications given to the patient. It would not matter if it was the doctors misjudgement or mistake or wrong order.

    To me, That seems to be a lot of responsibility!
    MDs, NPs, PAs, RNs, and the pharmacy all play a role in medication administration. LEGALLY, more weight is placed on the MD, NP, and PA for writing the order. We are expected to know more simply because of education. Moreover, we carry more hefty malpractice policies. if i order too high of a dose of KCL (but still a reasonable dose), then i would be held more accountable since its my patient and i have more of a duty to know their active disease process, current labs, etc.. if i ordered 400 mEQ KCL and you gave it then, well, you would be in some pretty deep water...but more than likely pharmacy would/should catch that and call me before its ever given. Legally, the buck always stops with those with higher credentials...and usually those with deeper pockets (i.e. malpractice insurance). the more power you have, the more you become lawyer food.
  4. by   MuddaMia
    Quote from Ezra73
    MDs, NPs, PAs, RNs, and the pharmacy all play a role in medication administration. LEGALLY, more weight is placed on the MD, NP, and PA for writing the order. We are expected to know more simply because of education. Moreover, we carry more hefty malpractice policies. if i order too high of a dose of KCL (but still a reasonable dose), then i would be held more accountable since its my patient and i have more of a duty to know their active disease process, current labs, etc.. if i ordered 400 mEQ KCL and you gave it then, well, you would be in some pretty deep water...but more than likely pharmacy would/should catch that and call me before its ever given. Legally, the buck always stops with those with higher credentials...and usually those with deeper pockets (i.e. malpractice insurance). the more power you have, the more you become lawyer food.
    Hmmmm... my sister who is a NP tells me all the time that I am the "scapegoat" for the NP's and MD's and that I better be 2x as careful as them b/c the hospital will throw me to the wolves in a blink to save a practioner who "brings $ into the hospital.
  5. by   StudentNurseSteph
    http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dl...ANEWS/61026007

    I was suppose to have clinical there but instead we're now at Umass Memorials main campus not the university one.
  6. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Ezra73
    what is your justification for striking when you're already compensated so well? all i can see (and a lot of other people) is simply greed. why do you feel that you deserve an MD's salary when an MD has far more education, student loans, hours per week, responsibility, etc.? what is your justification for this?

    i know not all RNs make this much, but many do...and they strike.
    Basically, this is a discussion of vocation vs. profession.

    Is nursing a vocation, where the true benefit to being a nurse is the calling 'invoked' by working? Or is it a profession, that trades knowledge and skills for reasonable barter?

    You have argued that others have let their emotions and not logic dictate their responses to you. Let me assert that your very position is an emotional one: a defense of the emotional, vocational investment in nursing over the professional status of nursing.

    An interesting debate on this topic:
    http://allnurses.com/forums/f195/doe...re-170851.html

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  7. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I'm going to repost a long post I made in the above-referenced thread. That thread is about the assertion from economist Anthony Heyes that paying nurses less would attract better candidates because only those 'called' would work for those wages. . .

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    OK. Very long. . .

    I read the article and pondered about it for awhile. And, I think this economist is right on the money.

    Let me explain.

    First he is referring to what he calls 'vocational' jobs, and he describes nursing as such a job. I think he is right, by his definition. His definition is a job where a worker 'invokes' a self-interest in seeking said employ, for example, being 'called' to the job. Examples would be teaching, preaching, and yes, nursing.

    The economist describes a 'reservation' wage, the wage at which a job becomes too unattractive to do, at any less a wage. This is the point where too many people have 'reservations' about doing the job at any less a wage.

    The economist argues, I believe credibly, that a 'reservation' wage can be set LOWER then an attracting wage when people are willing to do the job for motivations besides mere pay. By setting the wage at a 'reservation' wage that DOES attract candidates motivated by a 'calling' but would not attract candidates based on the actual wage, you end up recruiting ONLY those candidates with an inherent self-motivation to do the job, and do it well.

    At the point you set the wage high enough the the 'reservation wage' would include those just interested in the salary, you attract candidates that may not have some inner self motivation to do the job well for reasons of 'calling'. These candidates might be more interested in just doing the job only as well enough as necessary to get paid.

    The managerial concept involved here is known as 'organizational citizenship behavior (OCB)'. In any organizational environment, you have a diverse group of people, that can range from 'good soldier syndrome' - employees that go above and beyond without any extra motivation to do so, all the way down to 'slacker syndrome', people that do JUST ENOUGH to maintain their citizen status within the organizational structure, and nothing more.

    By setting a 'reservation wage' below neutral recruiting value, but higher then a 'vocational (calling) reservation wage', you attract only the candidates that are interested for reasons that INCLUDE it being a calling. And THESE types of employees tend far more towards 'good soldier' types then they do 'slacker' types.

    And this indeed is a formula that worked in the past. Nursing wages have always, historically, been lower then the actual neutral 'reservation wage'.

    But, the key point in the formula is 'all things being equal'. Another point in the article, given a value for purposes of his statistical analysis, is the level of satisfaction that a 'calling' is ACTUALLY being satisfied by the work being done.

    And here, TPTB, screwed with the formula. Beginning in the '80s, TPTB began to seriously change nursing into a big business. The focus on patient-centered care was turned to the focus of cost-centered care. As a result, many nurses were being deprived of the real 'connect' time with patients that led to satisfactory meeting the 'calling' they sought.

    At the point nurses lost the simple time to interact meaningfully with patients, they also began to lose the 'calling' value to their jobs. At that point the 'vocational reservation wage' was simply no longer enough to meet their needs. And so, nurses 'burned out' and simply left the profession.

    And THIS required hospitals to eventually raise the 'reservation wage' to continue to attract candidates into the field. So much so, that our schools are brimming over with potential candidates.

    So today, as a direct result of administration short sightedness, many of the nurses that were working for a 'vocational reservation wage' simply left the field. Or, as WE say, there isn't a shortage of nurses, but a shortage of nurses willing to work under these conditions at these prices. The 'vocational' part of the job that allowed for a 'vocational reservation wage' was no longer meeting the 'calling' aspect of nursing enough to maintain that wage.

    And so, today, our wages much more closely resemble a 'neutral reservation wage'. We see that in our schools, where many are indeed going into nurses today for the job security and salary.

    We also see the throwback to nursing as a vocation in the threads where students complain that it isn't fair that they have to wait on a list when they are 'called' to nursing while others are just 'in it for the money'.

    But, the DIFFERENCE between a profession and a vocation is that a profession sells its skills and value, and NOT it's motivated self interest to participate.

    So, by referring to nursing as a 'calling' we are INDEED holding ourselves back. In more ways then one. Because the new dynamics on the units are such that the needs of nursing as 'calling' cannot be satisfactorily met, I argue that it is, in fact, nurses in it for the 'calling' that burn out faster then those with pure financial motivation. Those with a pure financial motivation can at least directly weigh their 'reservation wage' against the work being required of them.

    And the result of this is that the salaries for nurses must go up. They must go up because it is TPTB that rooted out the ability to meet the needs of nurses 'called' by denying them the opportunities to answer that call on our busy units.

    But we should grasp hold of this. Because inadvertently, TPTB have given nursing the rationale to be a profession and not merely a vocation.

    We should be selling our extensive training, skills, and abilities and the unique combination of each within us that demands a 'reservation wage' set at a professional level. And that means, leaving our 'calling' out of the negotiation process.

    Nursing cannot be about the NEED to 'care' if we want the salaries of high tech, high skilled bedside monitors and interventioners. THAT PROFESSIONAL view of nursing is what we must front, not the 'angels' of our nature.

    To the extent that being 'called' to nursing can be factored into the process, our salaries will reflect this as a part of the total compensaton package, leading to a lower 'reservation wage' more vocational in nature then professional.

    Or, to counter my former HR manager I referenced in my earlier post, "Why WOULD you think nurses AREN'T 'in it for the money'?"

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    86% of the medication errors made by physicians and pharmacists are usually intercepted by nurses before such errors reach the patient?

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/466711_2
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
    Friday, October 27, 2006
    Nurses strike deal

    Union agrees to pact after night of drama
    WORCESTER— Five hours after nurses at UMass Memorial Medical Center went on strike yesterday, negotiators for UMass Memorial and the Massachusetts Nurses Association resolved their differences and agreed to a three-year contract for 840 nurses….

    http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dl...610270658/1116

    ----------------------------------------
    Chaotic but brief UMass strike
    Nurses blame hospital for 5-hour action over contract language row
    By Christopher Rowland, Globe Staff | October 27, 2006
    WORCESTER -- Nurses at UMass Memorial Medical Center stunned hospital officials early yesterday by calling a brief but chaotic strike hours after a verbal contract agreement was reached.
    The nurses union called for the walkout 15 minutes before a 6 a.m. strike deadline, saying that the hospital's written version of the tentative settlement contained flaws.
    The hospital declared a state of emergency, which included an order that nurses remain at their posts. Some did, but others followed the union's instructions to go on strike, and at least a few left in tears, according to hospital officials.
    But the strike ended peacefully less than five hours later after negotiators for the hospital and the Massachusetts Nurses Association ironed out the remaining differences in the three-year contract. All nurses had returned to work by the late afternoon, and hospital officials said patient care was never jeopardized….

    http://www.boston.com/business/globe..._umass_strike/
    ----------------------------------------
    UMass Nurses Reach Tentative Agreement Ending Five-Hour Strike
    WORCESTER, MA – After a marathon 24-hour mediation session, the registered nurses of the UMass Medical Center’s University campus reached a tentative agreement with management, ending a strike that began at 6 a.m. today and ended at 11 a.m. The nurses’ were successful in fighting off a number of contract concessions sought by management, with the two key issues being the protection of the nurses’ defined benefit pension plan and preservation of affordable health care benefits for both part-time and full time nurses….

    http://www.massnurses.org/News/2006/...-agreement.htm
  10. by   DebbieSue
    Whoever this poster Ezra is, she/he has no respect for nurses or nursing. As an advanced practice nurse who became that because of my love of bedside nursing--i.e., actually being a nurse--I can have no respect for posers who go through these nonnursing BS-to-MSN programs and jump into advanced practice roles without any maturity as practicing nurses. Please!! I actually WAS an expert bedside nurse when I chose to validate and expand that expertise with graduate education.

    Listen, whoever you are, your advanced degree does not make you a better nurse than that bedside nurse you so self-righteously criticize. Nor does your prescriptive capability. There are good and bad bedside nurses. There are also good and bad NPs. Most expert NPs I know do not HAVE to spend 15-18 hours/day seeing their patients. They are way more organized and efficient than that. Most expert NPs I know respect the work of bedside nurses because they actually were bedside nurses.

    And as far as any opinion you have about bedside nursing, you really don't have any idea what you are talking about.

    For your information, there are NOT many bedside nurses who earn 100,000 K a year. Those rare few who do are working tons of overtime. And your statements expressing outrage about RNs earning anywhere near what an MD earns--what planet are you on??? I'm not going to lay down on any alter to be a sacrificial handmaiden for anyone. MDs are free to fight their own battles and there ARE doctors unions, too.

    As an intelligent, professional, dedicated, educated nurse, I owe it to my patients to be proactive in achieving a healthcare environment that is the most conducive to safe and excellent patient care. The most successful managers/administrators understand that caring for the bedside nurses is the only real and lasting way to achieve best patient care. Care for the caregivers= care for the patient.

    And save your snide comments about nurses whining about breaks, etc. I don't know any nurses who stay at the bedside because it is EASY. I wouldn't be surprised if the only real bedside practice you got was during your grad school clinical rotations.

    Advanced practice is not harder or better or more valuable than bedside nursing. It is different. You may legally be an NP, and write those scripts, etc., etc., but I wager that you could not do what most members of allnurses do on a daily basis. It is people like you with those credentials after your name, but who got them without having to pay your dues, who give advanced practice nursing a bad name among staff nurses.

    There should be no nonnurse BS-to-MSN programs. They encourage and reward the wrong things and impose people like Ezra on the rest of us.

    Debbie, RN, CCRN, MSN, CNS, etc.
    30 year nurse
  11. by   Ezra73
    Quote from DebbieSue
    Advanced practice is not harder or better or more valuable than bedside nursing. It is different. You may legally be an NP, and write those scripts, etc., etc., but I wager that you could not do what most members of all*****s do on a daily basis. It is people like you with those credentials after your name, but who got them without having to pay your dues, who give advanced practice nursing a bad name among staff *****s.

    There should be no non***** BS*to*MSN programs. They encourage and reward the wrong things and impose people like Ezra on the rest of us.

    Debbie, RN, CCRN, MSN, CNS, etc.
    30 year *****
    you're correct, i couldn't insert a foley or work an imed very well.

    can you work up and treat someone's hyponatremia (hypvolemic, euvolemic, or hypervolemic)? do you fluid restrict, give fluids, push fluids with some lasix, interpret serum osm, urine Na, etc. and base your judgements on what you should do while trying to avoid hypokalemia in the process...not to mention making the wrong move and dropping the Na too much or overcorrecting and causing rebound hypernatremia? do a lumbar puncture? suture wounds quickly while active bleeding is clouding the field?

    HEY, YOU ASKED. i NEVER said that being an RN was easy, but don't make yourself look foolish by saying advanced practice is not harder. there is a reason that it's called "Advanced" practice. i'm no more special than anyone here that wants to apply to school and become an NP. a lot of you could do it so its not like i am holding the key to some super secret method of practicing nursing/medicine.

    i'm not suprised that an older RN would verbally deficate on my education. i've encountered this many times in my career and find it amusing. the fact is, these BS to MSN programs are very difficult to get into and the education is intense.

    the usual argument is that one must be at the bedside for many years before he/she earns the right to be an NP. the REALITY is that most NPs (regardless if they want to incorporate the nursing theories of martha rogers into their practice) practice in the medical model today because NPs/PAs are becoming the alternative to MDs in many ways. this is of no great fault of the NP himself/herself, it's the nature of reality and expectations in the healthcare environment as we know it in the USA today.

    i am very good at what i do. i might come off headstrong in this debate, but i am a very caring person at the bedside. i don't flaunt the long white coat and pretend to be a doctor even though in my field there are a lot of doctors that cannot do what i do within my subspecialty.

    DISAGREE ALL YOU LIKE WITH MY OPINIONS ON STRIKING, BUT DO NOT SINK AS LOW AS TO INSULT ONE'S EDUCATION AND PROFESSION. THAT JUST MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE A JERK WITH LITTLE RESPECT FOR OTHERS.
    Last edit by Ezra73 on Oct 28, '06
  12. by   MuddaMia
    Quote from Ezra73
    you're correct, i couldn't insert a foley or work an imed very well.

    can you work up and treat someone's hyponatremia (hypvolemic, euvolemic, or hypervolemic)? do you fluid restrict, give fluids, push fluids with some lasix, interpret serum osm, urine Na, etc. and base your judgements on what you should do while trying to avoid hypokalemia in the process...not to mention making the wrong move and dropping the Na too much or overcorrecting and causing rebound hypernatremia? do a lumbar puncture? suture wounds quickly while active bleeding is clouding the field?

    HEY, YOU ASKED. i NEVER said that being an RN was easy, but don't make yourself look foolish by saying advanced practice is not harder. there is a reason that it's called "Advanced" practice. i'm no more special than anyone here that wants to apply to school and become an NP. a lot of you could do it so its not like i am holding the key to some super secret method of practicing nursing/medicine.

    i'm not suprised that an older RN would verbally deficate on my education. i've encountered this many times in my career and find it amusing. the fact is, these BS to MSN programs are very difficult to get into and the education is intense.

    the usual argument is that one must be at the bedside for many years before he/she earns the right to be an NP. the REALITY is that most NPs (regardless if they want to incorporate the nursing theories of martha rogers into their practice) practice in the medical model today because NPs/PAs are becoming the alternative to MDs in many ways. this is of no great fault of the NP himself/herself, it's the nature of reality and expectations in the healthcare environment as we know it in the USA today.

    i am very good at what i do. i might come off headstrong in this debate, but i am a very caring person at the bedside. i don't flaunt the long white coat and pretend to be a doctor even though in my field there are a lot of doctors that cannot do what i do within my subspecialty.

    DISAGREE ALL YOU LIKE WITH MY OPINIONS ON STRIKING, BUT DO NOT SINK AS LOW AS TO INSULT ONE'S EDUCATION AND PROFESSION. THAT JUST MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE A JERK WITH LITTLE RESPECT FOR OTHERS.
    OMg...lol
    Shaking her head in disbelief
  13. by   Ezra73
    Quote from MuddaMia
    OMg...lol
    Shaking her head in disbelief
    care to elaborate?

    this is gonna turn ugly actually so don't bother because it's obvious that the RN/NP crap has little to do with the original thread and it will just worsen into pages of useless banter.

    the original debate was with regards to nurses striking.

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