Survey: Would you cross a picket line when RNs were striking? - page 2

This months survey question: Would you cross a picket line when RNs were striking (at your own hospital or another)? Yes or No? FYI: Here are the results from this survey: Q: Would you... Read More

  1. by   feminist nurse
    Nurses that say they cross the picket line for their patients are just uninformed!

    Nurses always give the hospital 10 days notice so that the hospital can plan for the strike by discharging, transferring, and not accepting any admissions. Then the union sends nurses in to care for any critical patients until they can be transferred out.

    However, it is the administration of hospitals that decide to keep the hospital full so that they can get the money that the patients generate. And they don't care that the patients DON'T get appropriate care during a strike.

    For nurses who are against nurses in labor unions, are you aware that the ANA has endorsed labor unions for nurses since the 1930's?

    And how did you learn to be so anti-union? Was an anti union mentality taught at your nursing school? And if it was, how was the school connected to the hospital? Hospitals don't like nurses that rock the boat. Most nursing education has not LIBERATED nurses but has just DOMESTICATED them into the system. Hospitals WANT to employ nice, little, girls!!!

    Professionalism for me means being able to be a passionate patient advocate. And organization in a union allows for the greatest chance for success!

    I advocate for myself, my patients, and my family. What could be more professional than being a patient advocate?

  2. by   feminist nurse
    crossing the picket line actually prolongs the strike!

    and is that what non union scabs do as patient advocates?
  3. by   rncountry
    The willingness of some nurses to cross a picket like is what keeps our profession in the 1920's. Advocating for our profession IS advocating for the patients. Do you think that not having enough staff to properly care for patients is going to help them? Do you think that working 16 hour shifts really helps your patient? If truckers can't do it, pilots can't do it then why can nurses? As has been said above the hospital has the choice of moving out patients etc... but do not take that choice. Why? Because they count on guilting nurses into crossing a picket line for the patients sake. Because they count on some nurses who want to make big bucks being strike breakers. Who benefits? Not you, you still have the same working conditions. Not the patient who is being put at risk because of those conditions. Only the facility and the people who make major money running them win. Don't you understand that your working conditions impact the patient care you give? Let those working conditions affect the care you see given to a loved one and you may very well feel differently. Why do nurses think that being used as slave labor is ok? It's not just the patients that need to be taken care of. You deserve to be able to take care of yourself and your family too. As long as we have the mentality that we are just here for the patient we will be taken advantage of in whatever way the powers that be can think of. Yes, I am for the patient, I just know that my exhaustion and decreased mental ablities because of that exhaustion directly impact on my patient. We all must in the end, do what we think is right, but have you really served your patient well by behaving like a nice little girl while continuing to care for too many people while exhausted? What other profession expects their members to behave like that in order to be considered a professional?
  4. by   lrs from ma
    To answer the question I would say emphatically YES because the bottom line IS that the patients need to be cared for despite the hospital administrator's disjointed, disorganized lack of true care for human beings. This is evidenced by (1)their inability to acknowledge the importance of safety regulations r/t the "nursing shortage" (2)growth of staffing needs r/t (?)unavailable budgets (3)lack of knowledge on the part of the upper management who appear to have chronic stagnation with problem resolutions and (4) upper management who at one time used to deliver patient care are now only interested in cost-cutting measures and continually forget about the PATIENT!! No---patients do not receive the best of care during a strike but do they anywhere in the U.S. right now?? Patient Abandonment is real!!!; moreover, strikes will be around until the end of time so we must accept that fact........hey goldilocksrn: get out of the sun;"undermining other nurses for standing up for themselves" is quite a warped perception---invest in some sunblock!--A nurse who crosses a picket line may have no personal issues r/t the cause but may be interested in patient care, ever think of that? ceworden:words spoken from you are that of a true, genuine person and nurse. Wish there were more like you out there!
  5. by   SoCalRN
    Hi....back again! You know, there are many facets of either being a union supporter or not. My nursing school did not "teach" me to not support unions; nor am I the "good little girl" type portrayed in a couple of the recent posts. I'm willing to converse/debate the topic with anyone in my hospital; however, those that are vehement, aggressive or determined to "win" me over can simply give it a rest. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. (Democracy).

    And, incidentally, some of us support ourselves and our child/children, with mortgages, car payments, and the like. Patients must be taken care of one way or the other; if I have certain feelings against striking, need to produce income, and can help out by being a resource to travellers, SO BE IT. Mutual respect and acceptance are key elements here.
  6. by   burn nurse
    howdy...I am a nurse currently out on strike @ a major Wash, DC hospital. Their current replacement staff includes RNs from U.S. Nurses. We are ALL concerned for our patients based on what the Washington Post reported re: the quality of care provided by RNs from this agency. I would NOT crosss a picket line, given the chance. As someone previously stated, the hospital had 10 days warning to make the appropriate adjustments necessary to ensure safe patient care. My hospital boasts, 'business as usual.' The word from some docs is, 'business is NOT as usual!!' Nurses, I believe, are expected to be amongst the most selfless, & self-sacrificing of professionals. I also believe that we as individuals, & professionals need to care for ourselves also. We, our families & our loved-ones need us as much as our patients. We need to, and are NOT less professional for, standing-up for what is right....FOR OUR PATIENTS & OURSELVES!! We stand-up & advocate for our patients daily. We are their first- & last-line of defense against inappropriate treatment & orders. Strike activities are our way of standing up for what we believe is right also. Patients, RNs, & hospitals benefit from a happy, & well-cared for work force. Rns, individually, are merely thorns in hospital managements' sides. Unionized RNs who remain united can be a shotgun blast to hospital management. We currently have approx 1300 RNs withholding services...100+ stayed in house, or returned according to local media. Replacement staff has walked out for many of the same reasons. Some have talked to the media re: conditions inside. Can 1200 RNs be wrong?...& stay out for a month+?? I doubt it! Can it ever be business as usual w/ replacement staff?? I doubt it! Can RNs be totally ethically responsible for occurances while we are out on strike?? ABSOLUTELY not! There are two has choices also...they bear responsibility for THEIR business & the services they provide (as any other business would be). Remember, by standing up, standing strong, & standing united (ALL RNs), for what we believe is right for our patients, for ourselves & for our profession we ensure that ALL involved benefit.
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    "Business as usual". Does that mean mandatory overtime, short staffing, floating to area of incompetence, and lack of equipment?
    No wonder you are striking!

  8. by   CVSDnurse
    Because I am the only income for the family now, I would have to keep working.
    BUT...I would be bringing in coffee and donuts for thoes who are fighting for us.
    I think nursing has repeatedly shot ourselves in the foot by working too hard for our patients. It is by doing this that we have proven to "them"(management/governmet/general populace) that "they" were right, you really can do the job with less staff and less admission time.
    We as nurses have so nicely kept the mortality rates low out of fear of losing our liscense that no one is aware of the increases in morbidity due to early discharges and lack of patient teaching.
    I mean, really, who is going to teach the CHF patient to weigh themselves daily and help them understand the idea of fluid restriction rather than running to help the nurse whos patient is tearing out their IV and trying to get out of bed with an a-line in their groin?
    We have to realize that by our wonderful ability to prioritize our care-we nurses are the only ones aware of what is really not being done-helping our patients and their families maintain the highest quality of life. It is no longer our priority because we are not going to be sued for not doing our patient teaching. Not yet anyway. I'd bet that when that happens, then all nurses will unite because none of us will be "safe"
  9. by   LaurieCRNP2002
    I most definitely would NOT cross a picket line, whether I was employed by a hospital directly or an agency. To me, crossing a picket line would be tantamount to saying to the nurses on strike "Well, the money I could make is more important than the issues you're fighting for." That would make me no better than the money-hungry administrators who are running the hospitals!! So to anyone out there who is on strike or part of a union that is planning it or even thinking about it, I offer you my wholehearted support and wish you the best of luck!

    Laurie, RN
  10. by   teamrn
    Would I cross a picket line? Nope. Mainly for the reason that I believe that crossing a picket line serves to prolong a strike, and furthur compromise already compromised patient care-and that is NOT in ours OR our patients' best interests. I thought long and hard about this one, as for years I was idealistic and a bit naive. However, I've only seen nursings' dilemmas increase in numbers, the longer we try to 'make nice'. I'm all for being civil and polite, but I'm past advocating a doormat status. Our patients need us to advocate for them, and I think we can better achieve that from a unified position of strength that promotes their interests in the long run.
  11. by   PPL
    Hell no, we won't go! I would NOT cross the picket line; no way; no how!
  12. by   Jenny P
    I was in the strike in the Twin Cities back in 1984. It involved probably 3/4 of the hospitals in the Twin City area and lasted a little over a month. There were over 5000 nurses involved in that strike- the largest ever at the time. I was so stressed by the whole idea of "abandoning" the patients that I broke out in Chicken Pox instead of my kids getting them! My husband was not the "bread winner" at the time; my salary was our major income. My head nurse was very supportive of the staff nurses' position, even though she had to cross the picket line and work (she was non-contract); and she'd come out each day and cheer us on because the hospitals were not willing to negotiate at the bargaining table. The traveling nurses that were shipped in were definitely "scabs," and were paid high salaries, housed and fed by the hospitals and lacked the skills the hospitals' own nurses had. The hospitals were notified 10 days before the strike, and the doctors were advised to move their patients to other hospitals and not do any elective surgeries, etc. I actually had to talk one of my former patients into crossing the picket line because she needed to be cardioverted for SVT and didn't want to cross our picket line- she supported us. Public opinion was on our side also. Some of our own nurses did cross the picket lines, but most of them - even if they were the only breadwinner - did not cross. Several of my co-workers did strange things to put food on the table-- from cleaning in office buildings to waiting tables to washing cars; but they would not cross the picket line- they would get out there and walk it when they could. We learned a lot about ourselves with that strike; and not the least of the lessons was the power of the staff nurse. The politics involved in the health care industry is interesting: the "powers that be" make money by cutting the nursing care of sick people; then try to charge us with "abandoning our patients" when we walk out because we can no longer work in a system that is killing us. Why do we enable the industry that gets rich whipping us to death?
    Would I cross a nurses picket line? NO!

  13. by   maeve
    I am in the fortunate position of being able to survive for a short time on my savings & can find per diem work so I would NEVER cross a picket line.

    I can understand why some nurses feel they must, but I hope these nurses truly explore all options before crossing a picket line. When I was a manager at a facility & the nurses went on strike, I refused to cover the striking nurses time & was asked to leave (which I did.) Another manager did the same but later fought to get back pay & won.
    Safe staffing was the issue.

    If we are not all united in the fight for quality care where are we. The old adage that we are letting the patient down is BS in my opinion. We let the patients down when we allow corporations to work nurses who are tired, short staffed & treated like animals.

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