Fairview Southdale RNs Stand Strong For Patient Safety, Safe Staffing Levels

20 Dec

Three cheers for Fairview Southdale RNs!

So proud of the MNA Nurses at Fairview Southdale and how they recently stood up for their patients and their profession regarding staffing grids!

Here’s what happened:

Management wanted to reduce staffing levels and cut FTEs during the grid reviews this summer. The nurses didn’t agree and the hospital requested that there be mediation as provided for in the contract. There are 6 units involved. The first three units had mediation on 11/30 and there were 30 staff nurses who attended and told their stories and objected to any decrease in staffing.

Last Friday, the other three units had mediation. Stewards from two of the units really stepped up to the challenge and turned nurses out! There were about three dozen nurses who attended (including the tri-chairs). One of the units had 25% of the nurses in attendance and another had 30%!

The nurses were outstanding and spent two hours in each of the first two sessions and just over an hour in the third telling management that there are systems issues that need fixing, that they are needing to do more and more as other departments get cut, that they are no longer able to say they are proud of the care they are able to give, etc. One RN was especially powerful in asking, “Can you tell me specifically what I can do to take more patients? Can you tell me what I do that I can stop doing? How can I be more efficient?”

The VP for nursing had no answer. She repeated a couple of times that she knows the nurses all work hard and that they aren’t sitting around reading magazines and knitting. The nurses pushed back over and over and management looked pretty weary at the end of the day. The nurses said they did not object to taking on more or caring for more patients – if management could provide a list of what they could stop doing so they could free up time. MNA nurses repeated over and over that they are the safety net, and that when management cuts other departments, the work doesn’t go away – rather the nurses pick up even more.

As one of the MNA Chairs said at the end of the day: “To a person, your stories were powerful and eloquently told, and your passion for your profession and commitment to your patients was impressive to everyone in the room … Enjoy the weekend knowing that you couldn’t have done any more than you all did incredibly well to influence management. Our nurses are an amazing group of people, and you should all be proud of the extraordinary care you give every day.”

Couldn’t say it better ourselves! Way to go Fairview Southdale Nurses! We’re proud of you and thankful for your leadership and solidarity!

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