It's no secret that radiologic technologists in the U.S. are under tremendous stress. Ask many RTs about their job situation, and they'll say they're overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated.
But no one expected what happened at San Francisco General Hospital this week, after RTs staged a sickout to protest work conditions. City officials responded to the sickout with threats of disciplinary action rather than addressing the RTs' concerns as they had hoped. Hours later, one of the RTs, a 20-year veteran of the hospital, had committed suicide.
The case is still under investigation, and it's still not known whether the suicide was related to the labor unrest. But the incident highlights in microcosm how serious the RT labor crisis has become. While some details of the situation are peculiar to San Francisco, this is, at its core, a story that could be repeated at hundreds of hospitals across the U.S.
Nursing is not the only health care profession who is "stressed" by the system. We are all in this together.
May 6, '04
I was talking not to long ago to RT who had fled hospital for a small clinic. She said the hospital had done time studies and decided that each proceedure should take a certain amount of time. If the RTs went over they were slapped on the wrist. She said add that to all the evening, weekends and holidays it just was not worth it. Now she has nice job in the small clinic, no evening weekends or holidays, vast majority of patients were walkie talkies, quite unlike the physical wrecks she had to figure out how to move in hospital setting.
May 6, '04
What a sad story...God bless that RT and their family. No one should be that stressed at their job.
May 6, '04
Unbelievable Oramar! And what if the patient gets a phone call in the middle of the procedure? Are they supposed to grab the phone away, and tell them "No, We don't have time for that!"???
What if the pt has had a stroke and speaks very slowly, and gets very frustrated trying to deal with this horrific life-changing event that has happened to them, and begins to cry? Are you to comfort them, or just proceed with the treatment because emotional support is not included in the timed schedule? The persons responsible for these stupid rules don't remember that we work with real human beings with serious illnesses. Hopefully they will be a pt in a hospital someday and will suffer from the silly rules they impose.
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