The solution to nursing problems - page 3

I posted this before and it seems to have been lost. I think we can corrent all of the major problems in nursing by simply having all of us take the same day off. Let's say February 11th, 2003,... Read More

  1. by   -jt
    <They would have to fire every nurse in the country.>

    No they wouldnt.

    Because you would never get every nurse in the country to walk out on her pts & risk her license. The few who did would not just get fired, but would be brought up on state charges.

    When we had the massive protest in 1995, there were 35,000 people (not even all RNs) who had the guts to participate. And there wasnt even any job risk or license risk in doing that event. So some had to work, but Where were the rest of the 2 million RNs in this country on that day? They werent there.

    Their unions were there, their state nurses associations were there, their professional organizations were there ---- and a few thousand RNs were there. This thing was so publicized & advertized for many months by many organizations. But where were the RNs ????

    Oh they were all complaining - but they didnt show up in the hundreds of thousands to lift a finger to help themselves & take a stand to make their voices heard - even though just marching in the street en mass would have been a safe & easy way to do that. They couldnt even do that much as a group, and you think youre going to get them all coast to coast to walk out on pts, open themselves up to charges of pt abandonment, & lose their licenses & means to make a living?

    If the majority of the 2.7 million US RNs had shown up in DC last time, we might not be in this situation today. But for some reason nurses dont work that way. So lets be realistic & come up with a more effective plan than walk outs that risk pts lives & RNs licenses - and marches that not enough show up for & are out of the publics minds as soon as the news ends & Letterman starts.
    Last edit by -jt on Oct 8, '02
  2. by   -jt
    <<There has to be another option. As inneffective as marches might appear, the innocent do not suffer as a result of them. Every day, the government makes decisions that effect us. But what percentage of us are members of a state or national nurses' association that pays lobbyists to lobby for nurses? You can bet that Doctors and hospitals are looking out for themsleves. Change has to start from the grass roots...and the government is one part of that. It's all about who has the loudest voice, or in abscence of that, the deepest pockets. But we don't have to make others suffer in order to further our cause.>>


    <Anyone for a sit-in (or sit-on) at the State Capitols? Who can run it by the ANA?>

    I like the idea of simultaneous regional protests across the country but the ANA cant run it. The organization doesnt work in individual states. The state nurses associations themselves handle nurse political activity in each's own state. Every nurses week they put on their own rallies & lobby days & other polictical events at the state capitols. For the next Nurses Day, pass your idea on to your state assoc now, before they already plan how to spend their limited funds (which come from the members dues - so if youre a member suggesting how they spend your money thats even better). You might be able to get this good old fashioned sit in included in the plans. Or just take the bull by the horns, organize a few nurse friends & put it together yourselves. Youd have to pay for permits & if you get enough of a crowd, traffic control.
  3. by   Youda
    -jt, I for one am sick of it. If you've got any ideas, tell me. I'll be one of the first in line to help.

    You can't imagine how much heck I've gone through the last several years fighting for patient care and my own rights. Like most nurses, we become so isolated from each other that we don't even know anyone else is fighting, too. If anyone says anything at all, it's in a whisper, because we know if we say it outloud, someone from Big Brother management will hear and we'll start paying a price for THINKING. If you don't think it's like that out here in the trenches, then you are wrong.
  4. by   -jt
    <You can't imagine how much heck I've gone through the last several years fighting for patient care and my own rights.>

    Oh yes I can. Im right there in the trenches too! I think you had a great idea. I suggested promoting it to your state assoc & trying to get it done for the next Nurses Week. (it takes time to organize such things). Ill promote your idea to mine & some proactive nurses I know in other states. Maybe others will too & we can get the ball rolling.

    <I see everyone scurrying to resolve the dockworkers strike in California...the president to address the problem!
    I think the only way nurses will get any response to our work conditions is to have a "walk out". >

    Just reminded me - when 1500 RNs in Oregon went on strike last year for 2 months, the dockworkers offered them jobs..... and some RNs took them!
    Those guys are great. But you know why the president & Congress & everybody is paying attention to them?

    Because they are a union - and they are politicly involved - and they are sticking together. What did other RNs do when the 1500 RNs in Oregon went on strike? They signed up with strike busting agencies & went to Oregon to cross the RN strike line - which helped the hospital to delay doing what the staff RNs needed it to do.

    Its funny to hear suggestions of the US having a national nurses walk-out. I cant imagine it, because right now, nurses are having legal ones all over the country & other nurses cant wait to rush in behind them for the "strike pay".

    National RN Unity - it would be great if such a thing actually existed - but that fact that it doesnt, doesnt mean we cant still try.
    Last edit by -jt on Oct 8, '02
  5. by   rncountry
    I don't believe that a national walkout day is possible, however the image of what would happen is certainly entertaining!
    Julie you know I started on the march bandwagon once, and I am curious, do you think that the nursing shortage has been in the news enough now that if there was a march the news media would pay attention this time around? When we were talking about this before Laura Vonfrolio Gasparis sent a copy of her tape from the last march she organized to her. I didn't see it since we are separated by several states, but Michelle said it was very inspiring. The other thing I have thought about, in line with what is happening regarding terrorism, is that the public should understand seriously, that given a major attack here it is possible that there would not be enough nurses to ultimately take care of massive injuries past a few days, the idea of working 16-20 a day for long periods to deal with that is not workable. Anyway thinking about ways to present to the public the reality, what do you think?
  6. by   ceecel.dee
    The management staying to cover for the walk-out are nurses too. They probably have an issue or two as well. I don't think we can solve this with the continuous chorus of "it's us against them". To get the respect we have not been able to attract yet, we must act respectably. We must have great pride. We must demand to have THE say in our practice. We must work WITH physicians, not FOR them. We must refuse to accept the crabby days of others, when we are never allowed the same option.

    We cannot wait for management....we must all demand this in how we practice every day. It will catch on.
  7. by   James Huffman
    Are we so self-centered that all we can talk about is our licenses?

    It is unethical to abandon a patient without providing for continued care. As I pointed out in an earlier post, such a strike would entail the deaths of probably several hundred people. What would our answer be to the families of those who died?

    Nurses who don't like their jobs can always leave them. But don't imagine that you can just skip out for a day and return with no consequences. Such a strike would hurt nursing more than we can possibly imagine. The public as a whole is very sympathetic to nurses and our concerns. A strike of this nature would wipe out that good will completely.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  8. by   -jt
    <Julie you know I started on the march bandwagon once, and I am curious, do you think that the nursing shortage has been in the news enough now that if there was a march the news media would pay attention this time around?>

    Yeah I know. Ive been thinking about you while reading this thread.
    I do think that a march or other massive event that does not put the pts at risk would get attention now. But then what? That cant be all there is. What happens at the end of the day when everybody gets back on the train & heads out of DC? There has to be more.

    Right now there are a lot of bills in state legislatures & in DC that would take the control out of the employers hands & help fix many of the problems, but the hospital associations are fighting against them. They have alot of money with which to do that. Fighting for those laws are the ANA, the state associations & other nursing organizations but they have only the funds & support of their members - a fraction of the nations nurses - to do it with. So its David against Goliath. David has won before but its been harder & taken longer. But if Davids brothers & sisters helped out from their own vantage points....who knows what wonders could occur?

    But a march alone isnt going to do it. There has to be a continuous, ongoing onslaught by nurses aimed at the powers that be - and with no risk to the pts. With a march, nurses would make their presence & objections known (although the majority will not show up) - but when its over, then what? They have to also make their voices heard. 2.7 million is a pretty loud voice. And a lot of email, letters, and phone calls flooding legislative offices. And those are considered to be votes. 2.7 million votes would get attention ---- and action. The problem, as you know, is how to get all those nurses to DO any of it.

    As for a walk-out, well, the public is very supportive & is on our side already. When we have a legal union strike at work over these issues, we still put the pts first & give a 10 day notice before the strike starts to allow the hospital to either come to terms & avoid the strike, or move the pts to other facilities for their care, or enlist enough nursing management to provide it there. Even then the public is still on our side -- the community & even the pts visitors walk the strike line with us. But to have a wildcat strike ---- where, without warning, we just dont show up for work & the nurses who are there just leave, abandoning the pts & giving no time for other arrangements to be made to provide the pts with the proper care --- Doing something like this would backfire on us in an instant & we would lose all the public support that we now have.

    Who is going to support us if we have shown such callous disregard for the lives & well being of their loved ones entrusted to our care? And as professionals, how could we do it in the first place? There are other ways to make a statement without risking someones life.
    Last edit by -jt on Oct 8, '02
  9. by   Youda
    Originally posted by James Huffman
    Are we so self-centered that all we can talk about is our licenses?

    James, I don't think anyone is implying the devastation to real people isn't an issue. But, this is a thread about NURSES, not patients. Heaven knows we think about our patients above ourselves most of the time. It is healthy for us to start thinking in terms of ourselves and what we need. Historically, that has not been the case.

    While we consider our own needs, though, it doesn't mean that our concern for our patients and those lives is lessened. It just means that we are starting to care about ourselves ALSO.
  10. by   frankie
    Dave, let me know the day - I will spread the work - frankie:roll :roll
  11. by   semstr
    So what things would you like to change, I want facts here.
    Sorry, but so many of you are complaining about money, what I have seen here on this board in another thread about "how much do you get paid" or something like that, I don't think the money is that bad really. Comparing it with handworker is always bad, they always get paid very well. Would be the same when you compare your wages with the pay a IT-(wo)man gets.
    Still, there definetely are a lot of things to change, from what I read here and heared from RN's who worked in the US, but the main problem I see (again from my point of view) is the commerce in your hospitalsystem. As long as that doesn't change, the rest won't change too.
    But keep on fighting!! Renee
  12. by   OB/GYN NP
    Yes, Renee, let's take that point and run with it. Mr. Huffman made this point early in the discussion as well. If we're campaigning for something, we can't just say that nurses are mistreated. What specific issues do we want to address? Pay? hours? Job stress (what is the source of the job stress, and what are we asking hospitals and doctors to do that will decrease it)? Understaffing? What ideas do you all have for what issues we want to tackle? We also need to find possible solutions to the problems that we have with the system ourselves, and not just give them to the administration, say we're unhappy, and let them fix it. It won't be fixed to our satisfaction, I'm sure. Maybe some of the nurses who are in unions could give us some info on this subject. What are the union issues, and what kinds of things do hospitals agree to when nurses have unions? I have no experience whatsoever with nurse unions. Maybe some of you who do could help on this discussion?
  13. by   Youda
    Benefits and pay. I can't afford health care. How's that for a kicker? I'm a nurse, but I can't afford healthcare. Wages, compared with other occupations, are ridiculously low. Case in point: a car mechanic makes more than a nurse; an electrician makes more than a nurse. (and these are vocational-technical school education, not requiring a college degree.) Most hospitals/facilities do not have retirement plans. When we all hit old age, we won't be able to afford health care, medications, or even a place to live.

    Then there are the nontangibles: being treated and spoken to with contempt, lack of respect, unrealistic expectations in staffing, lack of concern for patient care but a high value placed on profit, high stress and burnout d/t all the above, workplace violence and abuse . . .