Best letter ever written by a patient in support of nurses – must read!

25 Aug

This ran in today’s edition of The Bemidji Pioneer:

I am a retired senior citizen who spends four months in the Bemidji area at a lake cottage. I am appalled at the recent one-page advertisement/dissertation by Paul Hanson, president of Sanford Bemidji Medical Center. President Hanson’s defense of Sanford’s commitment to quality health scares me.

Has Mr. Hanson ever had a patient push a call button in the middle of the night? Who does he think comes to the aid of patients who have had urinary or fecal problems or pain problems in the middle of the night? It’s the nurse. It’s the nurse who always has a smile. It’s the nurse who says, “It’s OK. I’ll clean it up.” It’s the nurse who says, “Call me again if the pain doesn’t go away.”

I firmly believe the nurses in Bemidji deserve better than what Sanford has offered. I firmly believe nurses are not getting the extra staff that is needed. I firmly believe Sanford is trying to eliminate a defined pension, which our great Bemidji nurses have earned by their hard and tireless work in the middle of the night and long days. In my 70-plus years, I have never seen management bring care to my bedside. I have never seen management change sheets on my bed. I have never seen management go without pay increases, bonuses or severance packages.

As I see and read it, Sanford Bemidji bases its justification for limiting of staff or giving decent pay (including defined pension) to its nurse employees on a “benefit program that is competitive, sustainable, and affordable.”

Sanford Bemidji, open your eyes to what makes your hospital important. It’s your nurses – not your self-directed, one-page dissertations, or spending millions on hockey rinks or wellness centers. Write about the good nurses you have. Write about how you back them up. Don’t be short sighted. Try spending your money where it is needed – on staff. To your amazement, you may even find this “sustainable and affordable.”

Vince Thoma
Fergus Fall, Minn.

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