Hospital Executives: Patient Safety Proposal “Bothersome”

1 Nov

Make sure you visit the Range Regional Health Services page on the MNA Web site for all the latest updates and information!

16 Responses to “Hospital Executives: Patient Safety Proposal “Bothersome””

  1. Barb November 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Why does this surprise anyone? We had a chance to change things & MNA advised us to fold. I don’t know about anyone else but our hospital is back to the same old unsafe staffing practices. Surprised? I’m not.

    • mnnurses November 1, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

      Barb sorry to hear your take on this summer’s negotiations and that your hospitals’ situation has not improved in regards to unsafe staffing. Can I ask if RNs like yourself feel powerless over these situations? Or that the committees in place are ineffective? Or that charge nurses aren’t able to get the support they need to temporarily close units when they deem it unsafe to admit new patients? Do you have any specific examples?

      • Barb November 2, 2010 at 7:41 am #

        Of course we feel powerless, there is no support. It appears that our Unsafe Staffing Reports all go to the circular file, as they did before. If there are committees, they are a deep dark secret. I am a charge nurse whenever I work & I wouldn’t dare temporarily close a unit for any reason. One night, after taking 7 patients I asked the ED to wait before sending the next 2 because I had to wait for 2 pts to be discharged. The next thing I know the Nurse Mgr & the head of the dept were both on the phone demanding to know why I was refusing pts. I was not refusing pts., I was asking the ED to wait. The Nurse Mgr understood this but, the head of our dept. did not. I’ve had several instances like that. I’ve had situations where we didn’t have a bed but were forced to take the pt while we waited for a bed to open up and, in several situations the pt we were forced to take was discharged before we returned the next evening. The morale is terrible. We have more nurses then we did before the negotiations, complaining of stress, refusing to work as charge nurses, and looking for other work, cutting back hours or retiring early. The hospitals didn’t cooperate before or during the negotiations, why would anyone think they would cooperate after?

      • mnnurses November 5, 2010 at 11:12 am #

        Barb these are all fair points and I appreciate your honesty in telling it like it is. Feedback – good, bad or ugly – is always extremely valuable for us. Thank you!

  2. Naomi English MPH, RN November 1, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Bothersome, huh? Well, what would this management say when we’re able to pull a pt through a difficult surgery, prevent disease, send pts home happy and whole…If these kinds of things don’t matter a jot or a tittle to them, why are they even in health care at all? I personally find people who are trying to work in a setting for which they are distinctly ill-suited to be especially “bothersome”.

  3. Ellen November 4, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    @ Naomi…love your last statement! IMHO, the leaders of the Minnesota Nurses Association who sat at the table (and negotiated the very last time) did nothing but meet their own needs and showed that they had used us RNs as pawns all along. MNA was working on their reputation.

    Earlier the same day, several extremely well attended meetings with the organizers, RN negotiators and RNs were held at the MNA offices. There was no disclosure of any meeting plan for later that day. So, then, one minute there was RN solidarity around safe pt care…and the next, three MNA staff met with the hospitals and wahla! oh, safe patient care was not mentioned…it was the contract maintenance with NO wage increase to speak of.
    Yes, I am bitter and disgusted with how it was handled (how OUR RN negotiators were not present at the final negotiations) or should I say mishandled? I really feel bad for the RN negotiators…

  4. Barb November 5, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Ellen,
    I am so glad you brought up the piece about the meetings at the MNA headquarters before the final negotiation. I was SO Angry when I went to vote for the final time yet others were smiling & laughing – you would have thought we won something – we didn’t win a thing! When I went in to vote one of the MNA Negotiators said “You need to vote Yes”. I replied “you can’t tell me how to vote” and voted “no”. Unfortunately, too many others listened to them. What did we get for our hard work? Nothing. Our hospital is not back to status quo, they are worse. I worked last night in a situation(s) of such unsafe staffing that I am strongly considering quitting. Many nurses are looking for other employment, retiring, seeing therapists, crying….. falling apart. We’re working short because nurses are calling in sick & others don’t want to pick up shifts because they know what they’re in for or they’re too exhausted to work any more than they are already working. Where are these committees? How do we get to talk to them?
    Where is MNA now? We were not only let down by the hospitals, we were let down by MNA.

  5. Tom November 5, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    I have a question. How can everyone move forward with working on safe staffing, if MNA is already pushing aggressive planning for a strike in 2013? That tells me up front MNA has no interest in working together. No I am not a managment plant, I am a hard working nurse as well, but very frustrated, by this “it is all the hospitals doing” this hospital is my employer, MNA is my union that is supposed to represent me, I do not feel very well represented and haven’t since April. I am in MNA and looking from the inside I feel MNA caused more of the media issues, poor public view etc. then the hospital did.

    • mnnurses November 11, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

      Tom MNA is not actively planning for a strike in 2013 – I don’t think it is ever our nurse leaders’ “desire” or “plan” to strike. That makes no sense. I’m not sure where you heard this allegation – can you clarify?

      Remember that you are MNA, and your voice is important and should be heard. Remember that there are no secret “union bosses” calling the shots – rather MNA consists of and for the nurses who founded it more than 105 years ago. We do have staff but we work for you, our members. We have a leadership structure in place where nurses elect their colleagues to lead MNA, and our staff works at the direction of our nurse leadership. It is a democratic process and of course all 20,000 members don’t always agree on every decision, but I do want to share some insight into MNA so that we don’t get caught up in the old employer trick of referring to MNA as “the union” and having “union bosses” as if somehow the people in charge at MNA are not in fact your fellow nurses whom you have elected to those positions. Thanks for your passion and participation here on the Blog!

  6. Naomi English MPH, RN November 10, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    For those who are unhappy about the results of our contract negotiations this summer, we need to remember that this is NOT the appropriate forum to discuss these things. As with any organization, your church, your school, your workplace, our union needs us to be actively involved (Not just complaining)

    • Tom November 11, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

      What is this site for if we can’t ask the questions? If this is our union we should have our voice.

  7. Barb November 12, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    With all due respect, after being at the meeting the night before the decision to settle, I don’t believe it was our nurse leadership that made the decision to settle. In fact, some of our leadership said they didn’t have a voice in the decision. However, at this point, it’s water under the bridge & I will continue to support MNA because I have worked in non-union hospitals & I know what that’s like. Like everything else, MNA isn’t perfect but they do alot for us.
    AMEN TO TOM! We absolutely should be able to ask questions & voice our opinions on this site. Otherwise, why bother to even come to this site? We can disagree & still respect our union & our differing opinions.

    • Sammy November 13, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

      Don’t be so brainwashed by MNA. Think for yourself, vote for yourself. Do you know that 93% of private sector jobs are NON-UNION. And they all do pretty good. Take a look at all the non-union workers at your hospitals….I bet they are happier than you. I know at my hospital they are. We always seem to be fighting MNA..they want to do what they want to do…and most of us don’t have strong union leadership to stand up to them.
      Isn’t it funny the people we think we are fighting sign our paychecks. Think about that. You have more leverage with them without a union.

      • Mary November 16, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

        they may do well until their employer decides that they are going to sell the business and lay off all of the employees, or until the employer decides that they have to work mandatory overtime. Our non-union employees have suffered wage freezes and downsizing. We are not fighting our management. We simply want to be protected. We have NO leverage without a union.

      • Eric November 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

        Brainwashing is a matter of perspective. You sound brainwashed by management. Our Union and our contract gives us leverage and protection. There is nothing perfect about any system or organization including unions or the employer. But we would be more exposed to the whim of the employer in this hostile corporate enviroment without our Union and contract.

        I believe people should ask questions and offer opinions that differ from others, as long it is done in a constructive way. I understand that people were upset about the outcome of the last contract negotiation but we need to heal and eventually move on. We have to remain united and not become fractured around the happenings this summer. The hospitals are united in this fight to take our us and our union out. The war is not over and our contract battle is one of many that occuring around the state and country, and there will be more to come.

        I firmly believe that the employer is just a unhappy about he outcome as metro nurses were. They stood to gain millions of dollars in profits by placing all nurses on the their health plans and diminishment in pension payments. They spent tens of millions of dollars and did not see a return on their investment. They still want their pound of flesh and will try again and again until one of breaks. We must have the will to continue to stand and fight until we win the final battle and the war. We must stay united!

  8. Barb November 17, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Sammy, apparently you have never worked in a non-union hospital. They can dispose of you at will or threaten you with losing your job if you don’t act like a bobblehead doll. I worked 20 years at a non-union hospital & now 5 years at a union hospital. The union may not be perfect but give me a union hospital anytime. I’m sure the non-union employees are happier at my hospital; like the 30 year employee who was just walked off the job with no warning because she no longer fit the mold. She had been a dedicated, hardworking employee & now is without a job. All of us who have worked with her are in shock. OR, the non-union hospital who gave their nurses a 3% raise last summer while the union nurses were negotiating & fighting for safe staffing.
    That hospital claimed the 3% raise was because they appreciated their nurses. Now, however, their new benefit package came out & the nurses have to pay more than 3% more for their health insurance. OR, my own reason for leaving a job of 20+ years; We had a new DON who came in & “eliminated” my job & my options were: I could work nights in the ER OR I could work my “eliminated” position under a new title & for much less money. I chose to leave & I’ve never been happier. We union nurses are not brainwashed, Sammy, otherwise we wouldn’t have been willing to fight so hard (and continue to fight) for the safety of our patients as well as the improvement of our profession. Without the union we nurses could go back to doing housekeeping duties along with caring for the patients. Go work in a non-union hospital & see for yourself. Leverage? We have none without MNA.

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