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Sheri257's Latest Activity

  1. Sheri257

    Owning a home in California

    I'd wait a couple of years and see how low prices go because I don't think we're anywhere near the bottom of this market yet. It's only going to get worse before it gets better ... which is great news for buyers ... but only if you wait. If you buy now you'll probably get into a negative equity situation because the downslide has just begun. California is going to take the biggest hit because houses were so overpriced. Of course, it does vary by area but we're probably looking at up to a 40 percent price reduction in at least some areas so ... be patient and don't buy now. With all of these foreclosures (and more to come next year) ... there's going to be plenty of relative bargains eventually, IMO.
  2. Sheri257

    A few more questions before moving to Texas.

    The insurance companies would probably disagree with you. Look at NSO's rates and coverage for Texas. http://www.nso.com/ The premiums cost more and they'll only insure you for $100,000 per incident with a $300,000 cap. In just about any other state ... they give nurses ten times the coverage at $1 million per incident with a $6 million cap. Why won't the insurance companies cover RN's in Texas as much as they do in other states? Probably because they're paying a lot of liability claims in Texas. IMO, this is probably the best evidence that there's a problem with working conditions in Texas.
  3. Sheri257

    A few more questions before moving to Texas.

    Yes people are free to move around in theory but ... it's not always that simple. Luckily I live in California where nurses are generally treated very well but, if that wasn't the case, I'd have a hellava time moving too. Why? Because my husband would have to give up substantial retirement benefits if we did move. There's no way we could obtain the same benefits anywhere else since his benefits increase dramatically with the additional time he's putting in. So theorectically we could move but our retirement plans would be jeopardized if we did.
  4. Sheri257

    Nursing Union questions

    1. What do you find are some of the benefits of being in a union? Job protection, higher wages. I make $43 an hour, which goes up to $48 an hour in three years. 2. Do you feel like it is easier, when in a union, to speak to a union representative to share your concerns about your working conditions and concerns about work? Yes, although I have a pretty good relationship with the managers and talk to them about issues as well. 3. Who do you go to talk to if you don’t like your job on your floor when in a non- union hospital? Depends on the hospital. Some non-union hospital managers were very responsive, others didn't care at all about my concerns. 4. Are you confident in expressing concerns to management position when not in a union? Again, it depends on the hospital management. 5. Are you or any other nurses ever afraid to speak for patients because you would be fired? Is it easier to be fired when in a non-union hospital? I've never been fired but it would definitely be easier to get fired at a non-union hospitals because, in a union shop, they have to follow more procedures and prove you actually did something wrong when firing you under a union contract. 6. By not firing people from unions, is the myth true, do you end up keeping the worse of the nurses? Not really. I've seen mediocre workers in both union and non-union shops. With non-union shops managers played favorites so ... it didn't make much difference in worker quality, IMO. Non-union hospitals that pay less also tend to have more staff turnover so, they often would keep mediocre workers just because they were always so short. 7. Do nurses that work within unionized hospitals have less opportunity for promotions and growth? It varies. Because of the seniority system, you lose some opportunities but you can also gain opportunities you otherwise wouldn't have. So it's a mixed bag. 8. In a union hospital do they promote based on seniority or skill level? Job assignments for RN jobs are dictated by seniority but actual promotions to supervisory and other positions are based on merit. You have to take an exam, meet the various education and other job requirements as well as go through job interviews to be promoted. 9. What do you think of how ”seniority” works when in a union hospital? I've lost jobs due to seniority but have also gained better opportunities due to seniority. Overall, I have no complaints. 10. Do you have more opportunity for growth in a non-union hospital? Is it easier to promote or seek growth opportunities within a non-union hospital because you are not affected by seniority? Again, it depends on the management. If they play favorites and select people not based on merit then, you have a better opportunities in a union shop. 11. Do you find there is there more autonomy not being in union? No. I feel that have more autonomy because management can't arbitrarily do things like change my assignment or work hours under union rules. As long as I'm doing my job, they pretty much leave me alone. 12. Do you have an option to be a union member at work? Yes, you can be a union member or not if you choose but, you still have to pay the dues. 13. What are some of the disadvantages to being in a union? In some cases, you have to a put a lot of time in and build seniority to get better positions and better working hours. And, obviously you have to pay union dues. 14. How is being in a union impact the nurse? Just as an example .... right now management has just cut staffing on one unit so, under the union contract, we will be able to contest those staffing cuts and will probably be successful. I don't think we'd be able to do this in a non-union shop. Unless the staffing is dictated by law, management can pretty much do anything they want with staffing in a non-union shop. 15. How do you feel union’s impact nursing and health care provided to patients? - Is it better? - Worse? - Same? Definitely better care. The fact that the unions got the ratio law passed, limiting patient loads in California, is pretty good evidence of that. California is the only state that limits patient loads, and unions are soley responsible for that accomplishment. 16. Hospitals such as Kaiser have specific nurse to patient ratio, how do non-union hospital compare? Some non-union hospitals are really good about ratios, even going below the law requirements. Others barely comply with the law. 17. How do non-union hospitals keep their nurses happy and not overworked (without having a union rep speak for them)? Some non-union hospitals simply don't bother ... they just keep hiring new people instead of addressing the fundamental problems. Other non-union hospitals do a better job of keeping their staff happy and don't have as much turnover. Basically it depends on whether management listens to the nurses or not. 18. What are the benefits to being in a non-union hospital? Not paying union dues. You can potentially get better shifts and assignments faster but, in some cases, that can also be due to high staff turnover due to management problems. 19. Do you think nursing unions help nursing causes overall? Yes 20. In the future, do you see nursing unions still being around or not? Yes, at least in California. 21. The argument has been stated that nurses are professionals and not trades people who are part of unions, how do you feel about this? - How do you feel nursing unions help or worsen the image of the nurse in society? The only reason I'm making $43 an hour is because of California nursing unions so ... if being "professional" means making less money then, being considered a blue collar trades person doesn't bother me one bit. When the nursing unions had their big fight with Gov. Schwarzenegger over ratios, some nurses disagreed with their tactics but, ultimately the public sided with the nursing unions and Schwarzenegger backed off so ... I think that unions are generally good for the image of nurses in society. 22. Some nurses strike because they want to create smaller patient to nurse ratios and increase patient safety, how do you feel this represents the nursing image overall? Ultimately the patients are going to suffer with the status quo so, if strikes are necessary to improve care then you do what it takes to make changes. 23. How is your job impacted not being in a union? Not as much job security, less pay. Non-union hospitals across the board in my area pay less. Generally, it's also more difficult to contest management decisions that affect patient care if you don't have a union contract. 24. What is your turnover rate at hospital? Do you feel it is less or more than what would be in a union hospital? Turnover rate is very low ... there's actually a waiting list for jobs at my facility. No nursing shortage here, mostly due to the higher pay. 25. Do you ever have a problem with supplies being in a non-union hospital? Is there someone always backing up nurses to get supplies? Who do you go to? I work closely with the supply department. Generally, they're very helpful. If there is anything else you want to add please just fill it in below, thank you! Obviously I'm pro-union but, only because I've greatly benefitted from what the unions have done for nurses in California.
  5. Sheri257

    Group One background checks in Texas

    Currently, Group One says they have 350 member hospitals so ... Unless there's 350 hospitals in Dallas, seems to me that they've already expanded to other areas. Just FYI.
  6. Sheri257

    Group One background checks in Texas

    I see your point but, it's pretty outrageous that the burden is put on YOU to fight this ... especially in situations where you did nothing wrong in the first place. It easily creates a situation where you're presumed guilty until proven innocent. So nurses have to constantly check their Group One reports and constantly challenge unfounded allegations made against them? What proof/evidence do they have and how do you prove them wrong if they're prone to siding with the hospital managers anyway? If all you can do is add your response to unfounded allegations .... seems to me that the damage is already done anyway. BTW ... I found this thread on another message board where someone who worked for one of the Dallas hospitals defends Group One practices. http://www.city-data.com/forum/dallas/186075-beware-group-one.html
  7. I think it's a combination of factors. When the ratio law took effect a couple of years ago where patient loads were limited by law (Cali is the only state that has a ratio law) .... lots of nurses moved and/or started taking travel assignments here. Especially nurses who were tired of heavy patient loads in other states. And, despite the higher cost of living (COL), many of them worked in the Bay Area because the wages are the highest in the nation and, well ... it's the Bay Area. Lots of people want to live there even with the higher COL. Nurses who didn't want to pay the higher COL have been travelling here for a few months, banking a lot of money, and going back home ... because they can make much more here in a few months than what they can make in their home states for an entire year. A lot of travelers also don't want to work in other states because that means going back to much higher patient loads. So there's been signs of a nursing surplus in the Bay Area for awhile now. There's probably still jobs but, the shortage isn't nearly as bad as other areas of the country or, other areas of California, for that matter.
  8. Sheri257

    Anything good about working in Texas?

    Well ... obviously you guys haven't been out here for awhile because the market has completely changed. Just do a google search on California real estate. I can guarantee you that nothing priced at $625K is moving fast these days and if they are lucky enough to get that price, it won't last long because prices are falling fast. The idea that any property would easily fetch $650K in this market is ridiculous. Places like San Francisco are actually losing population because people are moving inland where they can pick up houses for as little as $200-$250K. And, because of the population growth in those inland areas, hospitals are expanding where you can make great money as a nurse with a much lower COL. California is a huge state with 35 million people. You can't make generalizations for the entire state based on one visit or one area .... when so much has changed with housing prices just in the last few months.
  9. Sheri257

    Anything good about working in Texas?

    C'mon ... could you at least quote some data before you make such outrageous statements? $800K for a shack? The average price for a California house, right now ... statewide ... is $430K. So obviously not all of us are paying $800K for a shack. In fact, a lot of us pay and/or have paid a lot less than $430K. And that $430K average price isn't going to last long with falling housing prices. The average home price will probably drop to $350K or less in the next couple of years since builders are slashing prices daily. I realize that some people don't like the fact that California nurses make a lot of money ... and maybe this is a way to make yourselves feel better about that but ... we're certainly not going broke out on the West Coast. Many nurses are doing quite well out here.
  10. Sheri257

    I bummed my interview...just wanna vent!

    I'm seeing this comment a lot. No wonder you California nurses make so much money ... you HAVE to pay $700-800K for a SHACK!!!! I guess this is how people make themselves feel better about not making California nursing salaries ... they go on and on about the cost of living. Like all of us California nurses are going broke, or something. Quite the contrary. First of all, the average price for a Calfiornia home statewide ... right now ... is $430,000. That's down from $465,000 a year ago. And prices continue to fall and will probably do so for at least two more years. The average price will probably get down to $300-$350K at some point. So, obviously, $700,000 is not the average price for a house in California. Some people pay that much, but most people pay a lot less. Secondly ... many state prisons are not located in the expensive areas of the state. They're actually located in the cheaper areas where housing is much more affordable. That's where you can really make bank. In my area, for example, two new state prisons are planned where you can pick up a brand new house for $200 to $250K. At $43 an hour, which goes up to $48 an hour in three years ... that's a pretty good deal. No outrageous cost of living where I live. I only paid $150K for my house but, if people insist on believing I'm paying a lot more ... I guess there's nothing I can do to change their minds. In the meantime, I'll just pay my tiny mortgage and keep making bank. I do love those fat pay checks.
  11. Sheri257

    Why are RNs scared of Fighting the Hospital Admin?

    Apparently, that's not the norm. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas nurses make $26-$27 an hour on average. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tx.htm#b29-0000 I'm sure there are some great deals on houses in Texas but with unreasonable patient loads and the constant threat of random firings ... not to mention Group One, which is the most outrageous scam I've ever heard of ... I'm not sure how great that cheap house will be if your choices are having to tolerate horrendous working conditions or ... getting blacklisted, shut out of the marketplace all together and not being able pay the mortgage. Personally, I'll take my chances on California. I bought my cheap desert house four years ago for $150K, my fixed mortgage payment is $1200 a month, including taxes and insurance. Now that housing prices are falling, you can pick up the same house for about $200-250K today. And, thanks to California unions ... I'm making $43 an hour, $63 an hour OT. More importantly... I can't be fired without cause. Needless to say ... us California nurses aren't scared of fighting management. I am forever grateful for California nursing unions.
  12. Sheri257

    Any nurses here date the officers?

    There definitely are married nurses having affairs with married CO's in my institution. It's one big soap opera. I really don't care what they do but, when they're wasting time flirting with their boyfriends instead of getting the work done and it all falls on me, I get pretty annoyed with it all.
  13. Sheri257

    What to do?? IM won't come out of the hole!

    Based on the above information, this inmate is not demonstrating suicidal behavior. You're basically letting the inmate manipulate the situation and, when you allow manipulation, it will never end. So ... what happens? Most of your time is wasted on the manipulators when you should be paying more attention to the inmates who are really sick. In prison, like anywhere else, the squeaky wheels get the grease ... and that's the real problem. In my experience ... the inmates who complain the most, threaten this or that ... aren't actually the sickest inmates. The sickest inmates typically are the ones you don't hear much from but, that's actually where your license is most at risk. Statistically, very few inmates actually commit suicide. Inmates are much more likely to die from chronic conditions like asthma, heart disease, etc ... and too often it's due to medical neglect of some kind because too much of our time and resources are wasted on the manipulators. The guys I really worry about are the older inmates who, at least in my experience, rarely complain until they reach critical conditions. We had one older inmate who died from a heart attack and he rarely complained. But ... that's where you get the most deaths and, consequently, the most investigations. So I spend more of my time on the chronically ill inmates ... making sure they're getting their meds, doctors appointments scheduled, breathing treatments, etc. Because there's a much greater chance of that coming back on my license ... rather than some inmate who's using suicide threats to dictate housing assignments. Sure ... I refer them to the psych doctor if they cut themselves. And I have had guys cut themselves alot but, if the MD decides they're manipulating ... we patch up their cuts and that's it. I don't waste any more time on them once they're cleared by psych. And a funny thing happens ... when you stop rewarding the manipulative behavior, the inmates quit the behavior ... which frees up your time for the inmates who really need medical attention.
  14. Sheri257

    What to do?? IM won't come out of the hole!

    In my facility, the psych doctors are pretty good about not letting the inmates manipulate with suicide threats. We get suicide threats all the time ... when it's obvious that the inmate is not suicidal and is using the suicide threat to dictate his housing assignment, we amply document that the inmate is not demonstrating suicidal behavior and that's it ... he's moved. In some cases, we've even written up inmates for staff manipulation because we can't have these malingerers hogging limited mental health crisis beds which are in such short supply as it is. So far, none of these guys have actually committed suicide ... at least that I've seen. Some will do superficial cuts just to try to scare us but, even then, we don't change their housing because ... if we indulged all of their demands ... we'd never have enough beds for the truly ill inmates. In the end, the focus has to be on the inmates who are really sick.
  15. Sheri257

    Inmates and lawsuits!

    I haven't been sued yet personally but, I'm sure it's going to happen because we do get sued a lot in California. We're actually under federal court receivership. Why are the inmates successful with some lawsuits? Because they've got some liberal judges out of San Francisco who love inmates. However, these judges (who are Jimmy Carter appointees) are very old and I think things will change once some of the Republican appointees take over these cases. These inmate lawyers love to sue because the state has deep pockets and ... the state's lawyers don't always do a good job of defending these cases so it can be a gold mine for some of these law firms. As far as narcotics ... we get these demands a lot but, the inmate better have cancer, a broken jaw or some really serious condition to justify getting narcotics. Otherwise, Tylenol and Motrin is all they get. I do worry about lawsuits and do as much as I can to CYA ... BUT, at the same time, when an inmate starts threatening me ... I don't hestitate to write them up. I've sent two of them to the hole ... one who did threaten me with a lawsuit and, another one who previously won a fairly large judgement against the state over medical care (not mine). I give them good care but, if they misbehave despite my efforts then ... I am not going to tolerate it. I'd rather just explain it to the judge if it comes to that, rather than tolerate abuse from inmates because ... once you tolerate abuse from inmates ... it never ends. I have my own liability insurance so, if the state's lawyers screw up then, I'll just defend my own case if necessary. I've been to court before for non-nursing related cases and most judges, at least in my experience, are pretty reasonable so ... if an inmate wants to take me to court .... so be it.
  16. Sheri257

    Dont move to florida

    Yeah ... that's the problem with disasters, especially unpredictable disasters. It's pretty risky to not have insurance, IMO ... because I don't know how you can really plan for all of it. In our area, fires are usually the big risk but, last year ... We had unusually cold temperatures where a lot of people's water pipes burst ... flooding their homes. Luckily, we ran drips on our faucets but others weren't so lucky ... A friend of mine was out of her house for three months but ... her homeowners insurance did cover her home repairs and temporary housing so ... You never know what's going to happen. The insurance is probably worth the cost, IMO.

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