Walter Reed Story AWOL - So Is American Nursing - TPMCafe - page 2

walter reed story awol - so is american nursing tpmcafe, ny - 7 hours ago where is nursing's voice? where is the interest of nurses in explaining the issue to the public? where is the ethical... Read More

  1. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from gauge14iv
    but wait...

    aren't the nurses union at these facilities...hmmmm

    yes - a union will fix all our problems (incredible sarcasm) - sheeeeeeesh
    ultimately management will do what it wants to do. the unions can only advise about care concerns. if management ignores these recommendations then disasters often follow.

    the real blame is at the feet of bushco:

    contract killings "omb circular a-76" isn't exactly a household term, but this late into the bush era, maybe it should be. it's the process through which the white house's "competitive sourcing" initiative has served to put thousands of government jobs into bidding competition with private contractors. this is not in itself, however, a guarantee of quality control. consider the case of florida-based iap worldwide services, one such contractor. iap's ceo came to the company after a tenure at halliburton subsidiary kbr, during which he had to appear at a congressional hearing to discuss overcharges for iraq reconstruction contracts. iap itself came under congressional scrutiny for its involvement in ordering twice as much ice ($100 million worth) as was needed to be delivered to new orleans in the aftermath of hurricane katrina. nonetheless, in 2006, iap managed to win a $120 million contract to take over support services at walter reed army hospital, despite a less expensive initial bid from public-sector workers. you may have heard the rest of the story: an attrition of skilled workers at the hospital and the ensuing massive scandal over conditions there. under bush, circular a-76 could be called the heckuva job provision.

    corruption and incompetence attaches itself to our current government.
  2. by   gauge14iv
    And all before and after - don't kid yourself
  3. by   RN4MERCY
    Quote from gauge14iv
    And all before and after - don't kid yourself
    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about unions. As opposed to the "individual mandate/mantra--"every woman (or man) for themselves", I believe in the collective, progressive point of view, " we're all in this together."

    Before unions, people could be worked 10 or more hours a day, 6 days a week, in whatever kind of miserable conditions employers felt like offering. You have unions to thank for 40 hour workweeks, two days off per week, and living wages, retirement and insurance benefits. The ability, the right to bargain collectively, to meet your employer on equal terms, to enforce safe working conditions, pay and benefits over and above the minimum wage that the laws provide, to be respected as an equal, to be protected against arbitrary discrimination, all of these things are what unions are about.

    Now, how about those hospital administrators and who is it that's really held accountable, ultimately for what happens to the patient? (If you don't like it leave?) Mandatory overtime?, Merit pay or favoritism?, Staffing flexibility or admitting patients without adequate staffing and calling it "care", such as putting patients in the hallways or on monitors that no one is monitoring, and then billing for the "service"? Fraud or legalized neglect? Bottom line vs. genuine patient-focused care and nursing practice/patient advocacy protection? The bosses will tell you, "do the best you can" and then play "the blame game" when patients suffer complications and even death. Let's talk about fairness and justice!

    Unionized direct care Registered Nurses in California, members of The California Nurses Association, called the question, collectively fought for and passed the first-in-the-nation minimum nurse to patient ratios. The law also requires hospitals to "staff up" (provide additional staffing of RNs, LVNs, NAs, Ward Clerks), based on acuity and scope of practice to meet the needs of the patient, as determined by the independent clinical judgement of the direct care registered nurses responsible for the patients. The law protects patients from corporate greed/bottom line staffing schemes and improves working conditions to stop the hemorrhage of nurses from the profession.

    The only reason the government does any of these things is because of union-led and supported legislation. Most of these laws - or at least their enforcement - are being undermined by "dirty money" (corporate cash exchanged for political gain)...political appointees and elected officials who look the other way as our individual rights and speech, freedom of association, and freedom to control our practice are encumbered or eroded to the point that they endanger patients by stifling our ability to advocate without fear of retaliation.

    The reason they (Bush-its, Schwarzen-cronies, and Co.) are able to even attempt this is that unions are far weaker now than when these laws were passed - and the public is far less educated about the benefits of unions; and, the fact that most legal workplace protections wouldn't be there without unions. And, in fact, if unions disappear, so will all of those legal protections, and many others that we just take for granted these days.

    Responsibility is one thing, and it's a good thing. No one would argue with that. But unions aren't just about responsibility, they're also about power - power in the good sense. The individual is no match for even a small company, much less a large corporation. Joining together in unions is the only way that individual workers can have a voice to defend pay, working conditions and benefits, whether legal or bargained. And unions, public interest groups, and government, (if the laws are enforced), are the only means to make sure that management lives up to its corporate and social responsibility not to sicken, injure, kill and exploit workers (or patients) and the community.

    And when California's Gov. Schwarzenegger abused his discretionary power to suspend our ratios, the nurses and the community fought back, from a position of collective strength, united in a common cause for safe standards; we prevailed in court and the law won, the nurses won and our patients won! Just try that as an individual...and don't kid yourself.

    It's always going to be a fight and someday, you're going to have to lock arms together in a righteous fight in the exclusive interest of, and for the safety of patients, be they civilians, or Veterans.