Thursday, May 24, 2012

my way or the highway

I've been a nurse a long time, as we all know. I have to say that I have probably been working in the best time in nursing. What I mean is that nurses have made progress in wages, benefits, staffing. A lot of our progress was due to a nursing shortage. Hospitals had more money too. Thats no longer the case.

I have this feeling that the time ahead is not going to be positive for nurses. In the last few years there has been a change in hospitals around nursing. For a long time, the administration and nurses in our hospital seemed to work together. The union and the hospital settled fair contracts. That has changed now.

Hospitals are feeling the same economic pressure as the rest of society. As people were laid off, less people had insurance and they used health care less for a couple of years. At the same time, reimbursement from medicare, medicaid, insurance companies continue to decrease. Hospitals are trying to stay afloat.

With all of this change, seems to come a new attitude toward the nursing staff. The relationship between the management and nurses has become adversarial. It has turned into a "I'm the fucking management and I run the show kind of attitude". We all feel it.

If nurses don't start paying attention and standing together, we have a lot to lose. Those wages and benefits and better staffing will fall by the wayside as hospitals work with smaller budgets. Think staffing is bad now, just wait.

What worries me the most are the young nurses who don't understand what it took to get here. The sacrifices nurses made in the past. The reason you have any kind of decent wage, benefits, employee rights is because the nurses in the past fought for it. I wonder if the younger generation of nurses will maintain those benefits or let them slip away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Might be time for some rabble-rousing union meetings. I bet the stockholders are a lot happier than you employees. Profits for hospitals are doing just fine. Don't let them poor-mouth you into believing otherwise.