Answering the call for nurses

  1. The Oregonian, Jan. 7, 2002

    Temporary medical staffing has become big business. The trend shows no sign of letting up. Analysts predict spending on temporary services for hospitals and other medical institutions will grow 15% to 20% a year for the forseeable future.

    Johnson, the nurse who founded Stat Medical Services, says his company provides a vital service to the hospital industry, which he says has done too little to improve registered nurses' stressful working conditions and wages, which have remained flat for a decade after adjusting for inflation.
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  3. by   oramar
    I saw it and thought of calling it to your attention but said to myself, "Karen will post it". It is so very odd the way this situtation is being handled. Most business respond to a shortage of workers by improving wages and working condition. (At least in the 20th century they did.) A few institutions have responded in the proper way. Unfortunately this is the exception. Some concessions are being taken by force through unionization. For the most part most nurses are not reporting improvements. Then healthcare responds to the inevitable agency growth by running to goverment and trying to get it to pass laws banning agencies or controlling the amount they can charge. The whole situtation is crazy.
  4. by   Mijourney
    Hi. I think that hospitals and other heavily regulated and restricted health care businesses just want to make sure that temporary medical staffing companies are placed under the same scrutiny.
    Last edit by Mijourney on Jan 10, '02
  5. by   -jt
    <<It is so very odd the way this situtation is being handled. Most business respond to a shortage of workers by improving wages and working condition.......... Some concessions are being taken by force through unionization. For the most part most nurses are not reporting improvements.>>

    What happened to universal supply & demand principles? Thats the question of the century. When nurses have a hand in setting their conditions of employment, there are improvements. Most nurses arent reporting improvements because most arent unionized & just have to take what they are given or go someplace else and the hospitals will make as little effort as possible & see what they can get away with.

    I still believe that hospitals are not sooooo upset that they cant find nurses who want to work for them. Its their perfect excuse to de-skill & utilize more UAPs for less cost than nurses. In some states, where they think they can get away it, theyre running to the legislators to make state laws that will allow it. Just look at what the AHA is trying to do in Ohio with expanding UAPs responsibilities -
    see: American Hospital Assoc in Ohio - solution = expand UAPs
    using the excuse that "there are no nurses" - never mentioning that 500,000 of them nation-wide are licensed & not working in nursing & a good % of those say its because of the conditions they are forced to work under.

    Here is a letter sent to a local newspaper where nurses are striking on Long Island, NY - written by an influential community leader:

    Striking for Wage Equality
    Dec 31

    I am glad Newsday covered the strike at St. Catherine of Sienna Medical Center ["Hospital: Strike Hasn't Hobbled Us," Dec. 22]. It is so easy to forget a strike when it is out of view.

    The article reminded me once again of the systemic acceptance of wage discrimination against women (and minorities). Think about our working and living in a "supply and demand" world. Why is it that these nurses are in such high demand, yet they must beg for wages and benefits?

    I think it is likely because they are in a profession dominated by women. Too many employers are still thinking of women as working for pin money. Yet studies have found that one-third of working women are single heads of households and half or more are contributing equally to their families' survival.

    When will employers accept this? When will supply and demand truly set the wages and not gender (or even race)? It is time for Albany to pass and sign into state law wage equality bills that really work. This is, after all, a human rights issue and, more importantly, a family issue

    The governor's race is around the corner and so are thousands of voting women. (In fact the majority of the voting public is female.) It's time this issue was addressed.

    If the hospital isn't "hobbled" by the high cost of replacement nurses, then why not treat the striking nurses right in the first place?

    Kim Nowakowski
    East Islip, LI

    Editor's Note: The writer is vice president of Business and Professional Women of Deer Park. >>
  6. by   nightingale
    (Karen) Great article (how do you find these articles?)... Too bad the hospital could not get it together to give the nurses what that want/need so these agencies would not have to fill such a need.

    I see new agencies cropping up all the time. I love agency nursing and I find that between agency hoping I can get my needs more closely met. It is not all about money either with agency nursing. I just left my primary agency because of the lack of communication of assignments and follow through. Hopefully, my new agency (and I will find a back up agency) can keep it together.

    I love nursing. I am able to continue life (and nursing) in a sane mannar because of the scheduling flexibility that agency nursing provides. The increased salary is wonderful but what I do with it is take more time off for rest (from the physical hardships of floor nursing) and meet family commitments. It helps me to provide that balance in my life that I never had as a staff nurse.