Hi! I am new to allnurses.com, and so far I have found a lot of helpful information and advice on here.
As of now, I'm a novice nurse at almost 10 months of experience on an oncology/palliative care/med-surg floor in a southern hospital. From what i've heard, the mention of unions at this hospital will have administration keeping a keen eye on you...
Having only 10 months of experience, I am already starting to feel the effects of burn out!
We are underpaid, overworked, and extremely understaffed. With a recent layoff, all the nurses are scared and worried. But my question is, what about a nursing union to solve our problems? I know there are pros and cons, but as of now, a lot of us are absolutely miserable.
Our overtime was cut about 2 months ago. Even staying late on the clock is a huge deal in which we have to write a statement on the reason why we stayed late on the clock to be submitted to out manager. Also, walking into work, is stressful enough. I cannot remember the last shift i worked where we were fully staffed. Having as much as 8 patients a piece with no aide. (Mind you, being on a palliative care side, most of these patients are total care patients..)
I come home from work absolutely exhausted and hurting because of the physical demands of cleaning up patients and turning patients... And that is not including all the "core-measures" and endless paperwork that I understand is necessary to my job.
I'm just exhausted and fed up with the huge work load.. Your thoughts please!?
Jul 7, '13
with or without a union,,,work to rule! do only what your job spec is. Unions are good to a degree! Thats how the auto industry destroyed north american jobs. Otherwise, you will get privates in who have no idea what the hell they are doing. MOney is the name of the game. Care takes seconds. You can only do so much.
Jul 20, '13
I have had the same concerns and questions about a union as well. I worked in OK for 2 years before deciding to travel. Majority of the hospitals i worked in have been unionized and would never get away with the madness my old job did to their RN's. I love OK but i would not be satisfied coming back to work there without changes. I wondered how nurses would react to forming a union or what, if any, other options there would be.
Jul 21, '13
changes are usually in concern with management, thats why Unions step in. Some management are hard to deal with, especailly with the young middle to upper managers who have risen to their level of incompetance, and decide they are in control. Unions are good, but looking at the large scale, have outlived their usefulness and over priced their members (ie UAW, CAW).
Jul 27, '13
Unions are not a separate entity. If you & your co-workers are willing to bargain for working conditions as a group you can join a bigger union. Identifying with some larger union just affords you more legal rights and resources. Over all it comes down to the question of how far you & your co-workers are willing to push for patient safety issues. Democracy has not outlived it's usefulness, and that is exactly what collective bargaining is. Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. At work this means policies & practices that affect patient care delivery. In the government it encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination. In the workplace it encompasses working conditions, wages, and safety cultures (including the safety of speaking out when there is a dangerous situation like that you described). All of this is to help nurses & healthcare worker have a part in their professional practice.
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