by Duluth News Tribune
July 12, 2010 at 7:00 pm in Duluth News Tribune
The informational picket in front of St. Mary’s Medical Center was held to draw attention to what the union considers inadequate staffing levels. Continue Reading
Tags: Business, Health, hospital 22 Comments »
They’re complaining about safety issues because of job cuts…and then they stand around on the street corners instead of going to work, leaving the patients at risk for sub-level care and neglect. Anyone else find something wrong with that??
Hot debate. What do you think? 32 32
There will always be time to picket. I ain’t no fan of SMDC, but these nurses are not enduring themselves to the public.
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 26
No picketing nurse was scheduled to work. They did that on their vacations and days off. Don’t be stupid.
Hot debate. What do you think? 28 20
No. I don’t.
Like or Dislike: 4 9
Josiah, I don’t appreciate your belittling and bullying to get your point across. I wasn’t being stupid, I feel it was a very valid question. The way it looks to me, it’s apparent they don’t like the fact that they are short staffed. But instead of pickup up extra hours, they choose to stand around and complain about it further instead of helping out their co-workers and the patients they serve. I just don’t get the point of it.
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 23
Every single nurse I know does pick up extra hours. Personally, I am called EVERY SINGLE DAY by the staffing office to pick up extra hours. Every day. Almost every shift I work, I have to stay late to get my work done – almost always because there is not enough staff to help during my shift. What I don’t understand is why people think that the nurses are doing this for themselves. The point they are trying to make is that they are concerned about PATIENT safety. How is that a bad thing???
Hot debate. What do you think? 25 16
I’m sorry if you feel belittled – but it’s apparent to me that you are not close to this in the least, but rather choosing to make assumptions based on very little information.
What you are obviously not understanding is that even when the hospital is fully staffed, patients still aren’t getting the attention they need because expectations are not realistic. You can’t expect nurses to accept admissions when their aren’t nurses to care for the patient coming into the unit.
You see, the hospital looks at staffing 100% to be foolish since the census is very rarely at 100%. Instead of making reasonable accomodations and staffing at 75-80% occupancy, they staff it at 50% and expect everyone to magically make up the difference when a flux of patients come through the door.
This issue is more serious than many. It’s not like the grass is getting mowed a day late or your floors are getting mopped half as often. When nurses are too few in number to care for the patient population effectively, things get missed and patients suffer (sometimes die) as a result.
Many nurses routinely work extra hours, but the hospital has rules against doing that too – for instance some nurses aren’t allowed to work more than 120 hours in a pay period or more than three 16 hour shifts in three consecutive days. I get that the rules are there for a reason, but when these limits are routinely met, I think it means it’s time to staff a few more bodies.
Hot debate. What do you think? 23 9
These nurses are walking a INFORMATIONAL PICKET. They are not leaving a patient to do this, they are not schedualed to work at the time they are out there.
They are not picketing for more money , they are out there because of unsafe staffing issues.
If you are the patient and you hit the call button for a nurse and you have to wait because there are not enough nurses schedualed to work to responde to your call you would be the first to blame the nurse…..No blame the hospital for laying off the nurses and not schedualing enough to cover the patients needs.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 7
Do you know how many times my wife has gone to work at 2:30 p.m and not been home untill 7:00 a.m. from working double shifts because there were not enough nurses on the following shift ? Pull your head out…. Look at the Nuses that fell asleep at the wheel and died because they are over worked . And they don’t do it for more money, they do it for the patient that needs them.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 26 10
More than once my wife has arrived home after 1am from a shift that “ended” at 11:30pm, then been awakened at 6:30am by a call from the staffing office asking if she wants to come in for a day (7:00-3:30pm) shift. This is against the staffing rules, but that doesn’t stop them from trying as they are often desperate to cover a patient load that surpasses care that can be given by the people they have scheduled to work. Someone should ask to the hospital administration, who maintain their position of “no problem”, to discuss their unsafe staffing reports. These are filed by nurses during a shift that they are working in response situations where patient safety is an issue because of staffing shortages. Such information doesn’t play as well with the public as “the patient above all else”
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 27 11
@Bobo is exactly right.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 16 1
You know, speaking from the scheduler’s point of view (yes I’m one of those people who spends all day every day trying to fill those shifts so your wife/daughter/husband/mother/brother doesn’t get stuck working) I had this whole reply written up, because it’s not always the scheduling department’s fault, or the facility/company’s. There are MANY other factors that contribute, ranging from lazy new graduates, to a short supply of sick/injured/elderly people to bring in the money to pay the employees, to not being able to hire every person who turns in an application because they are not all qualified, personally/mentally or professionally, to be caring for sick or vulnerable people. Maybe that’s why I take such a personal issue to this topic, because I see and work the “other side” of the story every day and always get the blame for things beyond mine or any other scheduler’s control. I must say however, that my personal opinion is picketing doesn’t give a good appearance to getting new people to fill out an application. Lets say I’m a nurse new to the area, and I hit the streets to find a job. If I came across some picketers, regardless of what their point is, I’m going to think that place is awful to work for and won’t apply. I realize I may just be “one person, one nurse” but speaking from HR’s view, one application is better than none, at least there’s a 50-50 chance it’s going to be a good quality person to hire. I realize it’s not the employees’ job to recruit for their HR department, but they DO have to think about the appearance they are giving off by picketing.
Hot debate. What do you think? 15 23
No. They don’t have to be concerned about the appearance of themselves picketing. That’s absurd.
Like or Dislike: 8 16
And no I am NOT a SMDC employee, but I DO work in an HR office in the healthcare field, so telling me staffing is in short supply is preaching to the choir.
Like or Dislike: 5 12
Staffing at SMDC and HR are two different worlds.
The staffing dept. at SMDC works their butts off doing their best to make sure the staffing levels are at where the hospital says they should be.
Unfortunately, the result of their hard work isn’t always a pat on the back. Instead:
1. Nurses get annoyed because they have to constantly call nurses on their days off because the hospital doesn’t have enough staff ready to go (scheduled) when things get a little busy.
2. Management doesn’t always communicate effectively with staffing regarding levels that are needs. Result: sometimes nurses get called in to work at 11 PM on their night off and sent home at 1 AM because they really weren’t needed afterall. Unintended consequence: nurses that don’t get excited to go in to work because they don’t know if they’re going to get a shift out of it or not. WHY? Because middle management lacks oversight and follow-through from upper management.
3. STAFFING in general is not in short supply. SCHEDULING the right number of staff, on the other hand, is the problem.
Like or Dislike: 10 5
hmm- so, if the news is correct, the nurses get more pay and keep pension funding…and ZERO changes to staffing levels….hmmm…so …what was this about again?
Its an underapreciated job, but what exactly was the union pushing for here?
Like or Dislike: 11 7
If the hospital is unwilling to budge on staffing levels, and I was a nurse, I would demand more money to do a more difficult job too.
It is about patient care, from the nurses perspective.
But the hospital sees it as a lot more cost-effective to bump wages instead of hire more nurses. Unfortunately, for your health care and mine, money talks.
Like or Dislike: 7 5
Finally, someone stumbled onto the scourage of capitalism; the bottom line is always the ‘almighty buck’
Like or Dislike: 15 1
What you are describing is the result of the Twin Cities’ nurses strike, not Duluth’s. So far, there has been NO talk of wage changes or pensions, only better staffing.
And I agree with Josiah – there should be fair compensation for the degree of difficulty in a job. I’m willing to bet many of the people who have left comments on this subject have no idea what it is like to be a nurse – we don’t just give sponge baths and hand out medications. We are paid to be critical thinkers, to detect subtle changes in a patient status that could mean life or death (literally). Our jobs require us to be patient, compassionate, strong, and adaptable. Many times, we have to stand up to higher authority and fight because we know what our patients need when others do not. We are counselors, we are supporters, we are the constant go-between, and we do many unthinkable and indescribable things during our day without so much of a blink of an eye, because we are nurses and this is what we love to do. I dare say plumbers, electricians, engineers, etc. are often paid better than a nurse, and I don’t hear nearly the comments about how undeserved their pay is. And by no means do I mean any offense to people in these occupations – it is just a comparison.
I can only speak for myself – I’m not a nurse because of the money. I would do my job for a lot less because I love what I do. But I do think we are FAIRLY compensated. I realize that there are many out there who can’t say the same thing.
I don’t like how people are perceiving nurses right now, especially with this recent informational picket – we’re not money hungry. Many of us are fighting for the safety of our patients.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 3
Thanks for fighting the fight, @JB.
Like or Dislike: 8 2
why hasn’t the newspapedone one of their hard hitting reports on how much money the nurses make with overtime? People work different jobs with different skill levals most posters believe that they can do every job out there- drive snowplow, fix gas leaks be a nurse and you know what THEY CAN’T
Like or Dislike: 3 5
Not one of the better articles I have ever read, but what I expect from DNT. Kim Kaiser is nothing but a mouthpiece for SMDC who says whatever they tell her to. Did Steve Kuchera think picking a guy across the street for his “expert” opinion actually really adds anything to this piece of “journalism?”
Like or Dislike: 3 1
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