Doctors Go On Strike - page 2

Surgeons' walk out in protest CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jan. 2) - Four West Virginia hospitals cut staff hours and transferred more patients Thursday because of a surgeons' walkout to protest... Read More

  1. by   funnygirl_rn
    Don't know if anyone caught NBC news with Tom Brokaw. Malpractice rates & docs were discussed. Doctors taking leave of absence(s) until this matter is resolved. Tom Brokaw's ending statement was more on the "malpractice insurance rate" crisis on tomorrow's news. seem to get what they want, huh.
    Last edit by funnygirl_rn on Jan 3, '03
  2. by   -jt
    Theyre calling it "Leaves of absences" cause that sounds less blue collar than "strike".

    I guess Im sounding a bit resentful here with all the immediate response these guys are getting over their complaints about their out-of-pocket costs, huh?

    Last year in Minnesota, thousands of nurses at 13 hospitals were backed up to the wall & faced a simultaneous strike, provoked by their employer. Healthcare in the Twin Cities could have been brought to a standstill. Did the Gov step in for the nurses like that one did when his 2 dozen doctors walked out over their costs? No. Scab agencies were allowed to step in instead. In Oregon last year, when more than 1,500 RNs went on strike for a month, did the Gov step in then? Nope. The hospital used millions of $$$ in grants from the state (taxpayer $$$) to pay for scabs. In NY, when 600 RNs were forced by their employer to be on strike from Christmas to Mothers Day and the hospital spent $33 MILLION of tax payers money to keep them out there, the Gov was no where to be seen or heard. In Connecticut when healthcare workers went on strike for a week, the Gov stepped in all right - by suddenly passing a law to allow those nursing homes to use medicare/medicaide funds to pay for scabs.

    Right now, several hundred nurses at 3 of the big 5 hospitals on Oahu, Hawaii are on strike for the same thing all those other nurses went on strike for - working conditions & to ban forced ovetime. Ironically, their employer is justifing the use of "imported" scabs by arguing that his nurse managers are exhausted from working mandatory 16 hr shifts at the bedside & need relief. (As my kids say, "welllll, DUH!" Thats what the STAFF nurses are saying too! So get back to the table & end the ******* strike). But where is the Gov on this one?

    Where is other nurses expression of outrage?
    Last edit by -jt on Jan 3, '03
  3. by   Brita01
    What is it they say about being a man's world? Doctors go on strike and people sit up and take notice. Nurses go on strike and how dare we when there are sick people out there that need to be taken care of!? Where is our compassion and caring!? How can we ignore our calling!? *****!!!?
  4. by   funnygirl_rn
    jt, my thoughts exactly regarding the leave of it will sound less blue collar. It truly is frustrating isn't it?!? There are SO many of us....and look at the type/hype publicity they are receiving...and yep..they will obtain their demands.

    I will continue to lean on my senator friend for suggestions & assistance.
    Last edit by funnygirl_rn on Jan 2, '03
  5. by   sjoe
    jt--Right, once again. And good for the docs who over the years have generated a substantial political clout and who use it when they need to.

    I see no solution for nursing either, frankly, just an abundance of wishful thinking, self-righteous talk about "us and them," and business as usual. (Note also the present thread, "INS memo eyes nursing shortage")

    The entire situation has gotten worse and worse over the past 10 years, despite what "our" organizations say they are accomplishing, despite how many letters and memos we send, despite "helpful" politicians, despite magazine and newspaper articles, despite BBs such as this one.

    They only realistic option that seems to be available is for everyone to find his/her OWN individual accomodation that serves his/her OWN needs/wishes/guesses as well as possible--whether that lies within nursing or not and whether this accomodation "helps" nursing or not. It's only too clear that nothing and no one is going to "rescue" the practice of nursing, including its present participants.

    On that cheerful note--Happy New Year.
    Last edit by sjoe on Jan 3, '03
  6. by   Loubell RN 2B
    I read this article in my paper today and could not believe that one of the doc's said that he paid $78,000 a year for his malpractice and they want to raise it to $100,000 this year. Unbelievable...
  7. by   -jt
    Its outrageous and the doctors rightly are protesting this condition by refusing to work in certain jobs (like obstetrics) & by going on strike (calling it a leave of absence). Theyve spent one year making it public and have already seen a swift response by the government and new laws in the making to solve their problem ASAP.

    So it is possible & can be done.

    So then why have nurses who have been protesting their own unacceptable conditions for 10 years and also have been refusing to work in certain jobs (like at the bedside) & also have been going on strike to protest by the thousands not receiving the same swift response from our government?

    The doctors have Govs already coming up with new laws to fix their unacceptable conditions. But nurses have had to bang their heads against the walls of their state capitols for 10 yrs just to get theirs noticed.

    Are we still such a dime a dozen that it doesnt matter if we refuse to accept the job?
  8. by   Love-A-Nurse
    originally posted by -jt
    <i don't understand why we cannot be one unified voice for nursing, either.>

    'cause nurses are too busy judging each other. they have a million complaints about each other. a million excuses why they wont add their voices. just look at some of the posts on this website. if they put as much energy into getting involved in their states, contacting their legislators & taking an action to fix the problems as they do in blasting each other on this message board who knows how much further ahead we would be. i wonder how many nurses who have spent so much time composing posts to attack some of us for our opinions here ever spent as much time sending an educational email to their elected officials. with 2.7 million nurses out there only a pathetic fraction are actually doing something other than complaining.

    the difference is that doctors are not fighting with each other over which of them is right or better. theyre fighting together for the issue that affects all of them. and they have facilitated the belief that they are the ones who bring pts in to the hospital so they are the money makers.

    no wonder theyre the ones being heard and getting an immediate response.

    until more direct-care nurses finally get up & get involved, & stop defeating each others efforts, they have no right to gripe about how no one is paying attention to the direct-care nurses needs.
    ah, well said.
  9. by   brianpribis
    But also look at the doctors' attitude. They have always looked at themselves as professionals. I know, there are some idiot doctors that you wouldn't want clipping the nails on a cat let alone doing major surgery on your loved one, so I am talking about the real ones Even the mean, ugly, can't get along with no one, bedside manners of a gorilla doctors always act and talk like they are professionals with a professional job to do. Can you say the same about nurses? I have met many, many, MANY nurses who are just employees like the janitor but they give meds and make beds. They don't realize what it is they/we are. We are professional health care workers and providers! (Neither will I get into an argument as to what level of education constitutes a professional. Some say only BSN's can be professionals, but I don't agree). Maybe when nurses start 'acting' like they are professionals things will change. Perhaps defining what it means to be a professional in the healthcare environment would be a good start.

    There is also the problem of public image. Most people hear about the doctors and say, "Oh my, they do so much and our lives are in their hands, and they have to take most of their paycheck to put towards insurance...we have to do something!". But when a nurse goes on strike and says, "We have to work longer hours, under horrible conditions and only get $18.00/hr", the public says, "Eh? They get that much for making beds and taking notes for the doctor?!!! What a rip!".

    From what I read on this board all the nurses here would consider themselves professionals and you act like it. But if you all went on strike would anything change? Of course not, there isn't enough of you. There is a reason why (in a post earlier) only 500 out of tens of thousands of nurse showed up at a state conference intended for them. Because many of the nurses only have a 'job' to do. They are just filling slots, getting ready for retirement or just paying the bills. It isn't really a profession for them. It isn't really that serious. It is also true that nursing has to unite across state lines. If just five major hospitals in ANY of the states had a majority of their nursing staff (even if it was just RN's) go on strike for a common cause at the same time, there wouldn't be enough scabs to fill the void. Not in this day and age. But it would have to be done as one effort with plenty of warning and letter writting.

    Now, for the reasons why they doctors are protesting. It sounds good, and in a way it really is. Most nurses carry malpractice insurance, but it is dirt cheap compared to what they MD's have to carry (p.s. If you don't carry it you should. Some hospitals say they will take care of you....well, you get the picture) because we get sued far less and for far less. But the fact is that some of the huge costs in health care are due to vary large, frivolous law suits. I think I would have more respect for the MD's if they had said, "People are getting away with suing for anything and not only driving healthcare costs up in general, but we have to pay $100,000/yr in insurance and thus have to drive up healthcare costs ourselves." I think with that argument they could have even (not that they would have asked) got the nurses on board for a strike.

    Well, that is my brain cell gone for the day.

    Yes some of thier insurance runs a 100 grand did you also notice or did they(forget to mention) it was tax deductable as well??????
    Its a right off the top deduction.
    Food for thought
  11. by   jones58
    Well, doctors are generally men, and nurses are usually women. When doctors (men) put their foot down, everyone takes notice.
    When nurses (women) try to make a stand, they are judged. But we keep doing it because we have to. Doctors send us patients, we take care of them, follow the orders, do what it takes.
    The doctors who are striking have very good reasons for striking. Someone is trying to get very rich off their malpractice insurance.
    Preying on the fact that doctors are human and make mistakes. We're all human though.
  12. by   funnygirl_rn
    jt..I agree with you 100%. Doctors do join together and work collectively as a group (other professionals do as well)...just wish the majority of the nurses would do the same. I believe we would at least have more bargaining power. It is very frustrating like you & sjoe stated.....that for numeorus years...not much has changed with nursing. However, I am stubborn and will continue to send letters to my growing list of politicians..and yeah...I have emailed Oprah, Tom Brokaw and some others too. Wishful thinking eh... :-)
    Last edit by funnygirl_rn on Jan 3, '03
  13. by   Nurse Nevada
    My concern is for the nurses in hospitals where the Docs walk out. The nurses are left to deal with the patients once again. What happens when scrips are needed? It must be a mess! I'd like to hear from a nurse at one of the hospitals where it took place. We here in Nevada are expecting the same.

    Come and Sign our Petition at: