Ahead of planned strike, Twin Cities ...

Ahead of planned strike, Twin Cities nurses link staffing issues, t...

There are 94 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Jun 8, 2010, titled Ahead of planned strike, Twin Cities nurses link staffing issues, t.... In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

Seeking to build public support before Thursday's strike, the union representing 12,000 Twin Cities hospital nurses on Tuesday offered grim stories of patients dying or suffering because of too few nurses.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

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Sandy

Saint Paul, MN

#84 Jun 9, 2010
Clover Leaf wrote:
<quoted text>
Sandy you are full of it! I have been following your Leftist posts for sometime now and I would have to say Your a loner wing-Bat with a personal story on every story on here.
Your a Professional Victim, that has all the answers to everything that ills anything.
Now tomorrow, Please walk out in front of a Bus and when your laying in the ICU make sure you don't have a Stupid Pool Nurse! Tell us how it goes!
I tell the truth and have the guts to use my name.
Thank goodness I'm not a professional HATER like you.
Fair Share

Minneapolis, MN

#85 Jun 9, 2010
Michael Nelson wrote:
GREEDY NURSES!
All Unions should be abolished. There GOONIOUN tactics destroy every industry they are in.
Healthcare
Education
Airlines
Government
Auto Industry
Please tell me one area where they have helped their industry/community.
Unions create lazy complacency!
Expect to see an expansion of unions as prevailing wage rates in other industries sink down to half of what they were.

Unions enable hard-working people to get a living wage in returm for their labor.
Are you kidding

Saint Paul, MN

#86 Jun 9, 2010
IrishMN wrote:
HOw can anyone not be moved when you read the stories that have been published the past couple of days? These dedicated men and women are fighting to save your life along with mine.
The evil right wing corporate hopsitals are looking only at lining their pockets at the expense of all of us.
Stand strong! Support our brothers and sisters on the picket lines!
Yea, that's right, union thug, they are ALL "right wing
corporate hospitals". You are the face of unions and
the face of the Democratic party..........
you are the reason so many people can sympathize with
people like the nurses and yet not be able to support
their union. Or any union for that matter. I have
been in 4 of them and you are in every one of them to
one degree or another and are the sole problem in the
collective bargaining system.

To nixon99: who is the face of your union?
Nurses Rule and this thug, or you? If it is these
two, as I believe it is, God help you and the rest
of the good ones because these two are the faces
everyone remembers.
Indypendent

Iowa City, IA

#87 Jun 10, 2010
I support CEO-to-nurse ratios. For every hundred hardworking nurses, we need at least one suit laughing all the way to the country club. The 14 hospitals in question made a net profit of $750 million last year.
Balance

Saint Paul, MN

#88 Jun 10, 2010
Where is the balance? Requesting staffing by acuity is one thing. That makes sense for patient safety and staff workload balance. I'm all for that.

But staffing by a grid, staffing to 100% capacity and then capping census to 90% does not. That is wasting the limited health care dollars we have. Also, how can our local staffing be viewed as awful when we have some of the very best outcomes in the country? Including patient safety markers.

I love nurses and value the incredible work they do, but they are not the only ones who work hard and are not always fully appreciated. Yet, they have the best benefit package in the healthcare industry. I know it hurts to go backwards and I'm not encouraging that, but a guaranteed 4% raise each year? That compounds to an almost 15% in 3 years.

Many have asked how the hospitals could claim that the staffing demands would cost millions. Well, do the math. The average salaray for an RN right now is $38.43. The 15% is an hourly increase and that would equal $44.23 or from $80K to $92K by 2013 for a full time nurse in a year. Now add in the additional staffing wanted for each unit and multiply it times each unit in each hospital and you can quickly see how the cost becomes astronomical. Can our state afford that? Not unless you and I are willing to pay for it. The hospitals get their money from insurance companies, the government and us. The government and the insurance companies get their money from us, so we are the ones paying for the increased cost of healthcare.

Again, I said balance. That means that there are times when truly for all involved having more nurses on a shift really does make a difference. That's why I think acuity models are needed, not rigid grids.
wow

San Francisco, CA

#89 Jun 10, 2010
Indypendent wrote:
I support CEO-to-nurse ratios. For every hundred hardworking nurses, we need at least one suit laughing all the way to the country club. The 14 hospitals in question made a net profit of $750 million last year.
Do you think a nurse could do a CEO's job? Hardly. I have no problems with a CEO making a large salary, but there are some cases that are it is extremely high.
wow

San Francisco, CA

#90 Jun 10, 2010
Fair Share wrote:
<quoted text>
Expect to see an expansion of unions as prevailing wage rates in other industries sink down to half of what they were.
Unions enable hard-working people to get a living wage in returm for their labor.
That might be true, but there have been cases of companies also busting up the union.
Indypendent

Iowa City, IA

#91 Jun 10, 2010
wow wrote:
<quoted text>
Do you think a nurse could do a CEO's job? Hardly. I have no problems with a CEO making a large salary, but there are some cases that are it is extremely high.
No, I think any hospital CEO worth a damn should accept a pay cut if they increase profits by cutting the pay of their nurses, aides, and maintenance staff.

Then again, that assumes that more than a few percent of CEOs have empathy for other human beings.
Patricia-RN

Dallas, TX

#92 Jun 10, 2010
OB/post partum is one of the rare floors that has little turn over, higher level of experienced nurses. That is the real problem. Hospitals dont want to pay for a largly experienced staff,its expensive and frankly hospitals dont treat general nursing staff with enough respect for them to stay very long on "general medical" floors.There isnt enough time to try to explain to the general public how complex this matter is but as long as people make remarks like "that stupid pool nurse" made the mistake.I know its a futile argument. That stupid pool nurse was likely put in a unit that she was unfamiliar with and told "a nurse is a nurse" and reassured shed have "someone to help her" Yes, Im sure that nurse probably wanted to help but also had her own patients to try to treat also, staffing numbers probably wasnt an issue....go figure.
Patricia-RN

Dallas, TX

#93 Jun 10, 2010
yes, you are supposed to be busy at work,but when was the last time you cried your entire way home because every patient room you entered was in pain(still) or thirsty(still) or lying in soiled linen or had a cold lunch tray in front of them because they couldnt feed themselves but you werent the med nurse or the nurses aide or maybe the pt was just too big to safely change alone and there wasnt another nurse available and the nice warm fuzy thing we say is "they are all our patients" but the reality is I cant start trying to do someone elses duties when the overhead pager is going off calling me to the nursing station because a physician is waiting there for me to do my assigned duties and that was to review pt morning labs, call abnormalities, complete order reviews then quickly make sure my patients are breathing.If they were in pain,thirsty,wet or hungry that was supposed to be covered by another staff member, all the time I will enter your room with a smile and try not to pull my hair out when a "healthy" pt is wanting the managers pager number because their food order was wrong. But yes, other than that, we all should stay busy at work.
umm wrote:
<quoted text>
Aren't you suppose to be busy at work?
Patricia-RN

Dallas, TX

#94 Jun 10, 2010
Jinn4u wrote:
They should try a mass layoff and make the nurses reapply for their jobs at a lower wage. The reason is that it is 'doc & nurses' high wages that have made the cost of providing double or triple. Every year part of the cost 'equation' for procedures and surgeries is WAGES along with geographics location. Reduce salaries or remove them from the RVU calculation and you will have affordable health care for all.
Wow,are you serious? When Im holding pressure on your femoral artery,too much and you loose your leg, too little and you bleed to death. If I dont know what to check for you bleed to death into your abdomen.You want to chance this by having me reapply for my job? By the way, the "procedure" I explained happens dozens of times a day just in my facility.Regular post procedure care after a "little heart cath" after your cardiologist walks away.The little procedures people have every day are safer because of experienced nurses and you pay for what you get in every aspect of life.
Levophed

Minneapolis, MN

#95 Jun 12, 2010
Ambulance driver wrote:
The hospitals are saying there will be no change when the nurses go out. That being said both United and St. Joes ER's have been closed to ambulances for the entire day (6/8) in anticipation of not having enough nurses on the day of the strike. Several individuals who called 911 today were taken to Regions ER when they wanted to go to United or St. Joes. This is happening two days prior so I believe the Hospitals are full of B.S. when they say it will be operations as usual.
Thanks Ambulance Driver for the truth!
Levophed

Minneapolis, MN

#96 Jun 12, 2010
Balance wrote:
Where is the balance? Requesting staffing by acuity is one thing. That makes sense for patient safety and staff workload balance. I'm all for that.
.Again, I said balance. That means that there are times when truly for all involved having more nurses on a shift really does make a difference. That's why I think acuity models are needed, not rigid grids.
Balance you seem to have educated yourself fairly well on our issues. I am a charge nurse at United Hospital. Here is how I currently staff. I look at the grid (actually have it memorized). and lets say It has the allowance for 8 nurses. I then try to make assignments for those 8 nurses. I poll the floor nurses on their acuity on a 1-4 scale. The criteria for acuity is defined (the definitions need to be improved upon). A one acuity example is a patient ready to discharge with all teaching done. a 4 acuity is a patient that is unstable, usually intubated and on iv drips to regulate their vital signs. Most patients are 2's and 3's and an ICU patient is an automatic 4. A 3 acuity patient often has IV's, chest tubes, epidural pumps or pain pumps to manage and need frequent monitoring. I will assign one 3 acuity in an assignment. If an assignment has a 3 acuity it is locked into a 3:! ratio for the day shift and evening shift. If a nurse has all 2's they can have up to 4 patients or start with 3 and take an admission. So sorry for all the detail but it is important to put detail to this process. After making the assignments if I have enough 2 acuity patients I can sometimes go down a nurse and save the hospital money.(I do this approximately 20-30 percent of the time. If the acuity is high I may need to ask for a 9th nurse. 2 years ago there was no argument by the administration for the extra nurse if it was due to acuity. Over the last 2 years it has become nearly impossible to get that needed 9th nurse. In fact not only do I have to page a Management person at home(in off hours) but then I have to argue the acuity of our patients and even then I have been told no and that we would just have to figure it out! So the model that makes perfect sense to you and me is the one in place and I believe it would work if the flexibility the hospitals want was applicable to them too. You also need to know that their contract proposal would do away with this system that makes sense to you and me. Nurses have many ideas on how to improve the system we have but we can not do away with it. The grids are the starting place and the art of health care is then making assignments that are safe. You can't do this if you don't have the administrations support! So thanks for taking the time to contemplate this and you are in the right direction. However the part the public doesn't have great info on is the lack of support from administration and their progressive attempts to decrease the numbers on the grid for nurses and nurses aids. So we are really fighting for the take backs in contract language that would drastically change the safety and care experience you have as a patient in the hospital.
Gndydncr

Rochester, MN

#98 Jun 14, 2010
Levophed wrote:
<quoted text>
Balance you seem to have educated yourself fairly well on our issues. I am a charge nurse at United Hospital. Here is how I currently staff. I look at the grid (actually have it memorized). and lets say It has the allowance for 8 nurses. I then try to make assignments for those 8 nurses. I poll the floor nurses on their acuity on a 1-4 scale. The criteria for acuity is defined (the definitions need to be improved upon). A one acuity example is a patient ready to discharge with all teaching done. a 4 acuity is a patient that is unstable, usually intubated and on iv drips to regulate their vital signs. Most patients are 2's and 3's and an ICU patient is an automatic 4. A 3 acuity patient often has IV's, chest tubes, epidural pumps or pain pumps to manage and need frequent monitoring. I will assign one 3 acuity in an assignment. If an assignment has a 3 acuity it is locked into a 3:! ratio for the day shift and evening shift. If a nurse has all 2's they can have up to 4 patients or start with 3 and take an admission. So sorry for all the detail but it is important to put detail to this process. After making the assignments if I have enough 2 acuity patients I can sometimes go down a nurse and save the hospital money.(I do this approximately 20-30 percent of the time. If the acuity is high I may need to ask for a 9th nurse. 2 years ago there was no argument by the administration for the extra nurse if it was due to acuity. Over the last 2 years it has become nearly impossible to get that needed 9th nurse. In fact not only do I have to page a Management person at home(in off hours) but then I have to argue the acuity of our patients and even then I have been told no and that we would just have to figure it out! So the model that makes perfect sense to you and me is the one in place and I believe it would work if the flexibility the hospitals want was applicable to them too. You also need to know that their contract proposal would do away with this system that makes sense to you and me. Nurses have many ideas on how to improve the system we have but we can not do away with it. The grids are the starting place and the art of health care is then making assignments that are safe. You can't do this if you don't have the administrations support! So thanks for taking the time to contemplate this and you are in the right direction. However the part the public doesn't have great info on is the lack of support from administration and their progressive attempts to decrease the numbers on the grid for nurses and nurses aids. So we are really fighting for the take backs in contract language that would drastically change the safety and care experience you have as a patient in the hospital.
Thank you for a reasonable and coherent explanation from your perspective. I understand what you say and it makes sense. It sure beats the hypebole one gets from newspaper, TV, and Internet threads. Now I would like to hear a similar reasonable and coherent explanation from the hospital side without hyperbole from newspaper, TV, and Internet threads.

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