Million Nurse March? Give me a break. uh yea, like I want to march to Washington like a bunch of whiney minorities to ask the government to step into my life a little more. Sounds to me like... Read More

  1. by   Hypoxic Pixel Eyes
    No offense intended,however, it would be prudent to use a dictionary when you are communicating anything in print.
    I'm sorry to be critical but,I think in this case it would be to your advantage and it would improve the way your professional conduct is percieved,when all anyone can see is your written word.
    I for one will be involved in any group that promotes my profession.The only exception to that would be if I thought an action would be detrimental to our image.
    I think an civilization is delineated by its laws.The limits of it's moral turpitude are defined in,and by, its laws.
    I think that you would agree the way in which the corporations that profit from the misery of your neglected patients with understaffing of caregivers and the treatmeant of nursing as an old nag you ride till it croaks,would be considered imoral since it is in the name of profit.
    If that is true then our patients,which are our profession, can only be served well if there is a law enacted that would draw the waterline and say "this is moral sealevel,we will sink no further"
    Until we make that happen our inaction is perceived as our agreement and the moral equivalent to the inaction of the corporations to change.That's why I support legislation,because there is a moral consequence and the duty is clearly ours.
    What do you think?

    Note:no thesauruses were harmed in the making of this post.

  2. by   -jt
    If you don't like it then leave

    Thats how we ended up in this mess in the first place.

    If you dont like it FIX IT!
  3. by   buck227

    I don't wish to joust anymore. It was fun for about five minutes but now it has grown old.

    I hold on to my main points and beliefs:
    1) If you don't like it and you can't change it, then leave and go some where else.
    2) The government is not the answer, nor is more legislation/laws etc. etc.
    3) Nurses just have to come to a point as a group to refuse to continue to stretch themselves beyond the point where quality of care is no longer possible. Hospitals are run by the lawyers and accountants. All they want is more. As long as nurses continue to kill themselves with long hours and overbearing assignments, the bean counters will still say MORE MORE.
    4) I believe the only way to accomplish the objective of higher pay and better working conditions in the environment we are in is through collective bargoning. Weather this is through national unionization or by just saying as a group we will not take it anymore.

    There is no other speciality in the medical field that can do what we do. We do the jobs of so many other specialities (RT,phleb,PT,OT, etc) Are compensation is very low compared to some of those. We should recieve more compensation.

    I think an ad compaign to the general public that educates them to the difference an RN can make to ther care needs to be instituted.

    We must pull together as a group to fight the big business and government to guarntee compensation, guarntee quality of care, and guarntee the best in what our healthcare system is capable of. It has turned into big business and that is wrong.

    We should not tolerate abusive work environments and we should not tolerate low pay just as we should not tolerate incompetence from our colleagues.

    A good freind and who happens to be a physician once told me that medicine is a ministry. We minister to our patients with every contact through Gods hand in healing mind, body and soul. I believe our purpose is to serve Christ. But I believe the fat cats are profiting from our skills.

    I once quit a job where the hospital administrator made 5 million a year. We were the lowest paid nurses in town and they said because the company has had difficulty that we would only recieve a 2% accross the board raise regardless of merit. Well I figured they can kiss my ass for 2% because if they only paid their administrator 2 million a year, we could have gotten a 50% raise accross the board.

    Ok, I am done preaching for now, Keep the faith!


    Originally posted by Rex:
    wow Buck, you got me I am stupid, but I refuse to believe I am compulsive about it. well let me try and understand all this, it may be a bit difficult trying to reach the level, of intelligence your at, but I am brave enough to try. ok lets first throw out the racist remarks about minorities. that was only an analogy and does not reflect what you are trying to say.

    and please correct me if I am wrong ok teach?

    If you are not satisfied with your occupational inviroment quit your job move your family somewhere else unless of coarse only weak nurses have families. Provided you have exuasted all the employment opportunities in your area ( just as a note they are all the same around here just thought you should know that becuase I have worked for them all and quit until I found the best sucky nursing job in rural Texas around FYI)
    so forgive if I seem a bit angry. your antidote is old and has failed I here it all the time you dont like it quit to me there is no difference to the nurse that stays in a situation that is bad for 30 years, than someone like you that will work 100 places for 30 years and have nothing when all said and done.

    Look at teachers see if it isnt better for them not the best but better

    I apollogize for attacking you like I did but hope you can try to understand my stupidity as well.

    just becuase its good for you what about the rest of us that feel compelled to care for those in our cummunities we grow up in and feel compassionately about caring for them. should we suffer because we stay to take care of them so buck are you just concerned about yourself or is there more to this than meets your field of vision. Your intelligent think about then.
  4. by   Hypoxic Pixel Eyes
    5 mil a year!OH MYY GAWD!

    Hey,they don't have a bridge program in place for CEO do they!!!!!LMAO!
  5. by   rncountry
    Buck, what you said in that last posting is valid to a point. Since I don't know where you live I would like to point something out to you.
    I live in Michigan. Once you get north of Lansing it is pretty rural. Not uncommon to have 50 miles or more between towns. My first job as a graduate nurse was in Tawas, right on Lake Huron. Small town. I was there as my then husband was stationed with the Air Force at Wurtsmith AFB, about 18 miles from Tawas. That was the closest hospital for me to drive to work at. I could have driven the 55 miles to Alpena north of me, or the 60 miles to West Branch, but when you work 12 hour shifts and have two young children that didn't seem like such a good idea, not to mention northern Michigan gets alot of snow, and even the main roads may not get plowed for hours. Having a truck with 4 wheel drive is pretty much a necessity. Now, St. Joseph was a decent little 60 bed hospital, but they started me out at not quite $14 an hour. Much less than I had anticipated. My option then was to drive 55-60 miles to another location for lets see, not quite 75 cents more an hour. What options were there? I couldn't move, my husband was stationed there, not like you can decide you don't like it and leave. Could quit and go where? Maybe I shouldn't have worked at all? Reality is there are many nurses who live and work not only in Northern Michigan where opportunities are fairly limited regardless of what you do for a living, but in other rural areas of the country that are just the same. Where would you like them to work? How many are there that are single parents that do not have an option of just quitting until they find something better? And you know regardless of whether they like where they are working or not I know plenty of people in northern Michigan who love the rural environment and simply take the good with the bad of it. They love that they don't feel they have to lock a door at night, or even when they aren't home, they love the idea of being able to walk out their back door while a deer is standing in their yard, especially during deer hunting season. They love being able to hike, to trail ride, and to fish in streams that you can see the bottom through 12 or 14 feet of water. They love being able to boat on Lake Huron or Lake Michigan, or Lake Superior. And while they may complain about patient loads that are too high or mandatory overtime they are not about to leave that job. They are not about to move from an area that is an entire lifestyle that they want. They are not going to go to an area that has many more job opportunities to put their kids in school that have way too many students in one classroom, where teachers do not know the students because there are so many. They like being able to have their kids in schools that literally graduate less than 50 kids as seniors. Where they know their neighbors and all of their kids friends. In the end they have decided that all of these things are far more important than the job they do for a living. They take the crappy job, and the crappy work conditions so they have a lifestyle they see as safe, a good place to bring up their kids. People around here take their kids hunting and fishing and other outdoor activities. How many times I have heard someone say what Ted Nugent has said(he lives in Michigan and is an avid hunter) I take my kids hunting so I don't have to hunt for my kids. Just picking up and leaving a job, when there may not be another hospital or nursing home in the area is not an option. Moving is not an option. Think this in Lansing, there are 4 hospitals. Sparrow has merged with St. Lawrence a couple years ago, that means same policies there. Ingham is run by the same company that owns McLaren in Flint, the same hospital that had nurses on strike over Thanksgiving and Christmas, biggest issue? Mandatory overtime and pay rates. Ingham is very poorly staffed and this in an area that has two nursing schools, MSU and Lansing Comm. Coll. Lansing General is no better. That the 4 in Lansing. How about Grand Rapids? Both towns are big for standards in Michigan. Grand Rapids also has 4 hospitals. Two merged to form Spectrum hospital. Laid off many nurses with the merger, now they don't have enough, and that merger only took place about 2 years ago. They had so many nurses then that they could lay them off? No, it was strictly budget. St. Marys has been working short staffed for years, and about 3 years ago or so they tried to bring in a union. It failed by a slim margin and the tactics the hospital used were unethical. Metropolitian is a smaller hospital than the other two but still has its problems as well. All start out with a similar wage, policies on hiring and budgets are basicly the same. Then theres Battle Creek, where I work. It used to have two hospitals, they merged about 11 or 12 years ago. One was nonprofit, one was not. The profit bought out the nonprofit. A couple years ago they abandoned the nonprofit building, added on to the profit one, but still lost about a 100 impatient beds in the process. Guess what? Now there aren't enough beds when volume in high. Not only that Battle Creek Health Systems bought out the mental health hospital that had originally been started by one of the Kellogg family as a holisitic health center well before that was popular. In fact it is where corn flakes got its start. BCHS also bought out the rehab center that was connected to the nonprofit hospital. They have systematiclly bought out and mergered with every bit of competition in town and now fully control the entire healthcare structure in Battle Creek. The use of mandatory overtime grew there so much that enough complaints were made the state actually investigated. Of course nothing happened because the hospital could realistically say they simply didn't have enough nurses. And it happened because of the policies they put into place, nurses simply fled. Many went to one of the two hospitals in Kalamazoo. And guess what? They started the same ole, same ole too. I have covered every large town within an hour drive of me. It is no different in any of them, nor is it any different in any nursing home. They are in fact, worse. So what do the nurses in my area do buck? Decide we don't need to earn a living and all quit? The one saving grace at this point is that the state board of nursing in Michigan recently came out and said they will not charge any nurse with patient abandonment if they refuse mandatory overtime. We have a small whip now. Of course this will not protect your job, you can still be fired for refusing, which will of course help you immensely when you seek employment at another hospital that has the same policies in place. In ten years of nursing I have never worked anywhere for longer than 2 years. I would get fed up and move on, once I was fired for standing up and saying you must report patient abuse and falsification of charting. Didn't work for 15 months after that. No one would hire me. I have tried the route of quitting looking for greener pastures, can't say about where you live, but around here, those greener pastures are few and far between. Tried standing up for what I thought was right and got kicked in the ass for it. I have found a place finally that is decent. Actually fell into it, wasn't even actually looking for employment as a nurse anymore at the time. It is a separate longterm acute care hospital that is located on the top floor of Battle Creek Health System. They rent it from the host hospital. Good ratios, no mandatory overtime and yes staffed well because of it. Pay is still pretty much the same as elsewhere though. Took me ten years to find this. How long are nurses going to keep looking before they feel so beat up they just quit period? And that is going to help the nursing shortage how?
    I agree that the are options that nursing needs to explore to make ourselves a stronger more powerful group. But somewhere we need to draw a line in the sand as a starting point. Give us all an ability to take a deep breathe and decide where to go from there. It is my thought that it will be individual nurses that step outside of the box to come up with new and exciting ideas, hopefully leading other nurses to better things. But until you are able to get some muscle behind us to make these companies stand up and take notice then we are in nothing more than a survival mode. We have to be able to have that time to gather our thoughts and decide how to move forward. I personally do not see how that is going to happen without intervention of laws that make business practices that are running our experienced nurses out, and putting a big damper of new nurses coming in, illegal. And since not one of us have the ability to institute laws ourselves, you take to those that can. I doubt seriously if I have made a dent in your opinion and you are certainly entitled to have it, but I can also say I disagree with you. It is going to take both collective and individual action to make a difference. What specifically are you doing besides quitting jobs that don't work for you? What are you doing as an individual for your profession? Do you encourage nurses at work to do what you are saying here? I did that once in regards to mandatory overtime. I refused to stay, my youngest was 8 weeks old at the time. Later I urged other nurses to do the same, force them to hire enough staff I told them. I was written up for unprofessional behavior. I left there too. Next place, no difference in policies. How do you change those policies, you go to the source that allows those policies to thrive and tell them that they are inappropriate, you educate as to why and you let them know that if it doesn't change neither will the nursing shortage, it will in fact get worse. Since you disagree with that tell me specifically what you as an individual are doing to change the face of nursing in the way you see it needs to. If what you are doing is successful it should be shared with all of us. I don't mean quitting either, as I pointed out there are many areas in which one cannot go some place different and expect better conditions. So give me your ideas and what success you have had with them. I look forward to hearing success stories, we all need them.
  6. by   buck227
    [I wish I had a success story. I guess I am venting because I know how bad it is out there. One thing we have where I live is about 6 different hospital companies and that gives us the opportunity to quit and move. It doesn't help though because there are so many that will take your place when you leave, or stay there and work short. It does make them compete for the nurses and they offer descent pay and benefits.

    I am looking for some sort of a movement. I have approached members of the press on several occasions and they aren't interested in the nursing shortage. They just want stories that sell, and with all the robbery,rape, and murder that we have in our area, our story is too boring to sell.

    On a positive note, I have heard several of the big papers talk about nursing shortages. The Wall Street journal ran a story a couple of weeks ago on the shortage in Florida.

    The great thing about the internet is it allows us to all communicate. Employers hate this. Information is dangerous to those who are oppressed :-)

    I guess I am somewhat dissallusioned even after 8 years in health care and 8 years in public service. I want to believe we are all in nursing for the good of our fellow man. I also want to believe the hospitals are in it for the same. The hospital where I trained was in it for the charity and it was closed, a victim of the medicare system. It was the oldest hospital in this town and one of the oldest nursing schools in the country. That closing truely broke my heart and everyone who was involved with it.

    Any ideas on how to reach all RNs and LPNs and try to get everyones view on the problems in health care and what to do about them? I guess this list is a good start.

  7. by   rncountry
    Buck are you in the Barlett that is near Millington? If you are then I know the area well. My dad lived in Millington for many, many years. He died in Sept. with some pretty good screwups on the physicians part. My stepmom and younger sister still live in Millington, but looking to move to Barlett. Need to get out of Millington so my sister isn't in a school system that has a kid arrested for a gun at school, like last week. My dad was treated at Baptist Memorial. Patient to staff ratios when he was there was one to fourteen, absolutely tons of ads in the Sunday paper for nurses while I was there. At the time that my dad was in the hospital they were adding on, building a new cardiac unit with the goal of being "best in the area" I wondered where in the world they planned on getting staff from. Maybe they will just pull from the already frustrated and overwhelmed units. You know, I can't say I have all the answers, but it seems to me that if we don't legally make these people accountable for what they are doing then we will never and I mean never, be able to get ahead. I love TN, especially the eastern part of the state and the mountains. I will be going back down in a couple months to visit with my stepmom and sister. Its going to be alot different for me without my dad there, and I can't decide that I am glad the house was sold after he died or not. On one hand I will miss sitting under the gazebo he built with the ceiling fan for the hot days, and putting my feet in the waterfall and pond he also built, yet I think maybe all that would make me incredibly sad without him there. A new place will let me build new memories. I know this is really off the topic, but when I saw Bartlett I thought it has to be the Barlett that is near Millington. Maybe it's not, but it made me feel like I could relate to you in a different way. Silly maybe? My one stepsister lives and works in Germantown, nice area. When we went down to visit my dad when we first found out he was sick we had the most wonderful bbq, in a place that has been voted for best in Memphis for some 11 years or somewhere close to that. I wish I could bottle the 'southern charm' that exists in that area and bring it home. Not to mention the warmer weather, though my sister would like to come here and see real snow. Take care Buck, I understand your frustration and need to vent. We are working in tough times. Your right about the internet, we have an ability to connect and share information in way not possible before, and I am sure that employers don't like that. But we have a tool at our fingertips that can help us if we can figure out how to do it right. Gotta put our collective heads together!
  8. by   nurs4kids
    [/B][/QUOTE]I am looking for some sort of a movement. I have approached members of the press on several occasions and they aren't interested in the nursing shortage. They just want stories that sell, and with all the robbery,rape, and murder that we have in our area, our story is too boring to sell.

    Buck, I thought it might interest you to konw that the "Birmingham Post-Herald" ran a big front page article on Thursday (3-22-01) about titled "Hospitals cite nurse shortage". The first paragraph of the article talks about a nurse at Memphis Veterans Medical Center and how she "cared for two patients in the intensive care unit, helped orient a new ICU nurse and served as the charge nurse overseeing life on the 13-bed medical ICU". Sooooooo, although this isn't a "big paper", someone is taking note. We gotta start somewhere .
  9. by   rncountry
    In the last month the nursing shortage has shown up in the Atlanta paper, Washington Post, Boston Herald, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Los Angelos Times,and one in New Jersey. The stories generally focus on the aging workforce and the decrease in nursing school enrollments. The one article that I saw that came the closest to be on the mark was from the Washington Post written by Abigail Tafford. One written in the Chicago Tribune by Michael Berens, the same writer that had the three part nursing error series in I think last September, came out a couple months ago. He quoted things from the California Nurses Association. He is starting to get a clue. What those in the MNM have started to do is to pick large metro papers in their states and write to the health reporters. Letters to the Editor also help. It is an educational process. It is going to take some time, but if enough nurses do this, then eventually someone is going to take notice. I have been corresponding with a free lance journalist for the New York Times. I don't know for sure whether an article will be written, but I am crossing my fingers. If you start researching and looking you will see that there are some journalists out there that are starting to look at this and take a shot at an article. What we have to do is to get our two cents in and give them a dose of reality. Not the reality that the AHA has. But what we are actually dealing with each and every day. We need to address root causes to the nursing shortage. We need to address the bottom line mentality that has brought us where we are. And no one is as capable of doing that as the nurse that is at the bedside being affected by the policies. Not only can we talk about what is happening in our areas through out own experiences, because of the net we can also gather what is happening in other areas and pass that information on. Anyone who doesn't understand the connection between managed care and nursing shortages brought on by massive lay offs, should take a look at California, often thought of as our most progressive state. The average amount of RNs to 100,000 people is 782 nurses. In California that number falls to 544 RNs to every 100,000 people. It is the lowest in the nation, and California is also the most heavily managed care state in the nation as well. A great deal of extremely good information can be found at the California Nurses Association website. If you want to know what is going to happen in your state if managed care is not held accountable than take a good hard look at CA. So if you research your subject and write to journalists and the editor and then do it again and again, we will eventually get somewhere. As someone else put it in another thread, the way to go is media, media and more media. If enough nurses are writing and writing again they are going to take notice eventually. Try it and see what happens. It is going to take many of us doing it, the more that do it the more likely we will be successful.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Isaac Asimov wrote an example that fits those nurses who just change jobs.

    "Two city boys were in the country when it began to rain. They ran under the shelter of a tree.
    One said, "What if it rains so long the tree can't keep us dry anymore?"
    "We can just run under another tree."

    We need to build something better than those trees if we want to stay dry. www.calnurse.org

  11. by   Dplear
    RNCOUNTRY....I know this is off post, but when i saw tawas I knew i had to write to you. I grew up in East tawas. I lived 6 miles north of town on the lake. i loved it up there, wake up in the mornings to the water and had the woods to the back of me. It truely was god's country. We finally just sold our house there on the lake. Your post really brought back some memories. i remember St. Joesph's hospital well. my parents were in and out of that place and my aunt still lives there in town and uses that hospital for everything.
  12. by   rncountry
    Small world huh? We lived there a year, this was while Wurtsmith was being closed. My now ex left the service and we went home. About 40 miles south of Lansing. St. Josephs was my first nursing job and though the wage was low, it was a wonderful place to work. Good teamwork, with a true community feel to it. My brother in law lives up near Marquette. He's always trying to get us to move up there, I say too damn cold most of the time! Lovely to visit in the summer though. I lived there from '91 to '92. Since you were on the lake I probably was driving by your house. Wurtsmith closed fully several years ago, and has been either bought or is rented by an airline company. They are selling off the single dwelling base housing and moving them for people. Went up there a couple years ago to galavanting around up north and went through the base to let my kids soak up some memories. The place we lived in was in the process of being moved. Sad kind of. Tawas and East Tawas are nice little communities. And it really is Gods country up there. Ever go to Au Sable River Days? My kids caught rainbow trout there by hand! My daughter wasn't even in kindergarten then but remembers it well. That and the plastic duck race down the river. Excellant fishing in that river. Good memories there. Yep, it truly is a small world!
  13. by   Rex
    You May be right wildtime and if the ANA included all bedside Nurses I would do the same but the MNM is including LPN/LVNs, CNAs, and Techs as well. we all have a voice that need to be heard so I am sitting back and waiting on what developes. I belong to the NFLPN but do not see much action from them they don't even have a Texas affiliation but I am rather new to all thats transpiring here. Not to say the ANA might not indirectly affect me, and my fellow LVNs and LPNs. I don't know but the shortage in my area is so severe we all feel rather over whelmed and welcome any attention we can get. frankly I don't care who advocates, or lobbies on our behalf as long as one of these orginizations, associations, clicks, or good ole boys club does something to take the stress off of our careers.