Food for Thought

Highlighting tidbits of information gleaned from the various comment threads.

Comments of the Day

Posted by Janey on June 25, 2010 at 5:58 pm Please know that any nurse who crosses, will have a huge support from many of us ancillary staff that help you. We truly appreciate your thoughtfulness beyond the MNA. If you are targeted, many of us will stand by you as you report it.

Posted by Connie1960 on June 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm Empathy abounds for all of you and the difficult position the MNA has put you in. I know that many of you are torn, worried, embarrassed and fearful about everything that is going on. I’m so sorry for what you are experiencing. There is such warmth and kindness on this blog; it is as evident in your comments to each other as it is in your patient care.

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58 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    hat tip Wildfox:

    per MNA average of 84% voted for open-ended strike.

    Also per MNA: 8200 of 12,000 voted which means 3800 didn’t vote. 6888 of those voting voted Yes to an open-ended strike. 1312 of those voting voted No to an open-ended strike. 3800 + 1312 = 5112 either voted no or didn’t vote.

    57% of members voted Yes for an open-ended strike

    43% of members voted No or didn’t vote for an open-ended strike.

    That puts an entirely different spin on the claim by MNA of an “overwhelming” vote for an open-ended strike.

    also of note per MNA: (would love to know the membership breakdown by facility)

    Abbott Northwestern-Phillips Eye Institute: 88 percent
    Children’s Hospitals: 86 percent
    Fairview Hospitals: 86 percent
    HealthEast Hospitals: 88 percent
    Mercy Hospital: 85 percent
    Methodist Hospital: 86 percent
    North Memorial Hospital: 89 percent
    United Hospital: 90 percent
    Unity Hospital: 81 percent

    Reply

    • Posted by anobserver on June 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      Has anyone done the math and noticed that it appears impossible for the vote totals at each hospital to be as reported and still calculate an 84% overall “yes” vote?

      Looking at the totals they report, the overall percentage should be in the upper 80th percentile which doesn’t jibe with what they reported the night of the vote.

      Reply

      • Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm

        I saw something, perhaps on the Strib story, that MNA is now saying over 8200 where before they just said 8200.

        Reply

    • Posted by Concerned RN on June 28, 2010 at 8:18 am

      If you check out the MNA filing report for 2009(listed in this blog-thanks for sharing by the way!), MNA indicates 19,603 total membership. I’m assuming( my thinking could be wrong but maybe someone can explain if I am) that MNA is only referencing the bargaining unit members when they say 12,000…so does this mean that 7000+ are non-bargaining…requesting not to pay full dues and are charged the service fee $48 but have no vote?? I’m sure that the 7000+ do not want to be part of a union-probably for multiple reasons but for whatever reason choose not to align themselves with MNA and therefore, give up the right to vote.

      But think about it….8200 voted, 3800 didn’t vote, 1312 of the 8200 voted no and 7000+ choose not to be part of the union-giving up their right to vote. My math tells me…3800+1312+7000=12,112 didn’t support the MNA agenda and only 6888 voted yes…

      Seems to me that the union wins-no matter how you slice it…maybe MNA should ask all including those who aren’t allowed to vote…an opinion? But it appears easier for MNA’s agenda to eliminate members from voting if they don’t buy into MNA’s or NNU’s message. It’s a win-win for them….

      Reply

      • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 8:21 am

        not all union members have contracts up for negotiation right now. I believe I read that the hospitals involved right now represent something like 60% of the MNA membership.

        Reply

  2. Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    hat tip Linda

    I coordinate the RN Satisfaction Survey at ANW and just 6 months ago we were celebrating how highly satisfied RN’s are at ANW. I have not been able to get my head around what has happened. No leadership change – still the great leadership we have had for the past 4-5 years. No change in patient ratios which by the way are better than the national average. …

    The more RN’s that really stand up for what they believe in for patient care, nursing profession, a real understanding of the current economy and respecful work place the more power you have to change this very fast moving MNA train that is, to me, clearly off the track

    Reply

    • Posted by lovenursing on June 23, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      linda nothing has changed at abnw, it is still one of the best places to work, nurses need to do their own research and not rely on only the info from mna

      Reply

      • Posted by Linda on June 24, 2010 at 8:09 am

        Thank you for that response. It is my hope that ALL ANW RN’s will see that and get back to living the values and mission that make Abbott Northwestern such a great place. Spread the word!!!

        Reply

  3. Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    hat tip relievedRN

    I thought I would share the length of time I was out of work for the “one day strike”…18 days. This is due to understandable hospital planning in decreasing the patient census and closing of units accordingly. So, for those who believe an open ended strike will be short lived please know that the ramifications are different depending on where you work.

    Reply

    • Posted by Steaming on June 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

      I am so sorry to hear that. I knew in my heart that was going to be happening but since it only happened to a few no one seemed to come to your rescue. Did any of your fellow co-workers donate their PTO time or offer you support? Did the MNA leadership visit you, express sadness that you burned up your vacation, while they all worked?

      Reply

  4. Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    hat tip Tom

    We will have to see what happens at the upcoming mediated negotiation session(s) this week. However, I do believe that the mediator could declare an impasse as soon as the first of July in an attempt to avert a work stoppage. In my view, (1) the wage and benefit areas could be settled, (2) the pension is a separate matter not directly involved in the 14-hospital labor agreement and (3) the whole area of MNA’s patient safety demands including mandatory staffing ratios, ER diversion, closure to new admissions and concommitant fines due in the event of violations is a very, very sticky area that is really outside the bounds of a labor contract. MNA is on shaky ground in this third area of the current interest dispute unless it greatly modifies its stance (e.g. — agrees to accept “guidelines” rather than “requirements”). If an early impasse is called, it will be because of lack of movement on this third category and that’s what I expect will happen.

    Reply

  5. Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    hat tip braveheart

    Just down the road at Abbott Northwestern we are a magnet hospital that has the best staffing I have seen around the Twin Cities…most vent patients in the ICU are 1:1 though the standard at most ICU’s is 1:2 with vented patients. 1:3 on tele and 1:4 on M/S an days/eves. I am dumbfounded but not surprised but truly saddened by this development.

    Reply

  6. Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    hit tip Tom

    I was “inside the hospital” in 1984, too . . . as an administrator (dirty word, I know!). Ironically, the MNA did much to change patient care in 1984 as it is deceifully claiming it intends to do in 2010.

    That change, however, was an “unintended consequence”. Reduced capacity in the hospitals in 1984 did, in fact, create incentives to (1) reduce length of stay for OB patients (aided and abetted by local HMOs); (2) hastened acceptance of non- or minimally-invasive treatment approaches; and (3) accelerated the movement of what were traditional hospital-based services to alternative settings such as surgi-centers, dialysis centers and imaging centers. After the contract was settled, census and volume never really returned to pre-strike levels.

    The second “unintended consequence” was the consolidation of hospitals into fewer “systems”. The ensuing four years after the 1984 strike saw the closure of MMC, the creation of Health East and the emergence of Allina as Health Central and HealthOne combined.

    Thirdly, the effects of the 1984 strike created resentment, friction between nurses and other hospital professionals and mistrust that have always lingered beneath the surface and have re-emerged in full force again today with the MNA’s manipulation and emotional tactics.

    Sadly, MNA has manipulated its members into the very same position as of today’s strike authorization vote. More “unintended consequences” will follow and no one will win. The MNA has adopted a decidedly untenable, unworkable, unfounded and ill-advised stance regarding rigid nurse-patient ratios. The negotiations will reach an impasse if the MNA persists in pushing this agenda. The hospitals will not negotiate on what is an essential and necessary management perogative such as staffing and internal operating procedures regarding diversions, closure to new admissions, etc. I sadly expect that there will be a strike if MNA does not relent on this wedge issue.

    Reply

    • Posted by Linda on June 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm

      I truly do hope that for TCH there are not concessions on the ratio piece. That would be a death sentence for the hospitals. It is not just the ratios which are unreasonable ’round clock’ but everything that goes with that: penalties if the ratios are higher AND capped admissions at 90% but staffed at 100%. Unbelievable demands. Can’t imagine any of the nurses would run their personal finances that way. it would be like saying you can only take home 90% of your salary and by the way we are doubling your mortgage payment and adding a car payment too and you will have very steep penalities if you are even one day late on payments. MNA needs to leave the managing of the hospital staffing and operations to the experts.

      Reply

  7. Posted by wildfox on June 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Posted on Strib:
    Interesting, let’s try to find out.

    That said, this was a strike authorization vote, not a contract acceptance vote, so one would think that it had implications for all voting members. (An aside on “voting” members – the MNA LM-2 form list membership at 19,000+, so the 12,000 figure that is always used must include only vote-eligible members. Perhaps there are 7,000 members paying reduced dues and not hiving the right to vote?).

    posted by Art15651 on Jun. 23, 10 at 12:01 PM |

    Reply

    • Posted by Leyla on June 25, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      I think the 7,000 variance is mostly due to those members whose contract isn’t up yet, or hold contracts not involved with the TCH negotiations. I.e. HCMC, Duluth, nurses working at state facilities (i.e. AMRTC) that sort of thing. It’s been my experience that most RNs are quite unaware of their rights to non-membership or “fair share” status. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been asked if I was going to vote and got quite the surprised look when I’ve said, “I can’t, I’m a non-member.” They always respond, “I thought you HAD to be a member.”

      Reply

  8. Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    hat tip braveheart

    I am shocked that there has been little to no discussion of the moral and ethical implications for a professional nurse to abandon their responsibility to the critically ill patients we are pledged to care for. Are we willing to accept the increased rate of errors that will likely lead to adverse patient outcomes and possible deaths as acceptable “collateral damage”.
    Though MNA has been openly preparing nurses for a possible strike since last fall, the physical and ethical implications have not been openly addressed. One study has shown that in 50 hospital strikes in New York from 1984-2004; patients were 20% more likely to die resulting in total of140 needless deaths with an average of 3 deaths per strike. A large strike here will likely result in similar outcomes. The nurse’s code of ethics calls us to advocate and promote the health and safety of our patients. We must remember that as professional nurses our primary commitment is to our patients, not our union.

    Reply

    • Posted by Megan on June 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm

      We aren’t abandoning anyone who we aren’t assigned to care for- We are giving the hospitals ample time to prepare for replacements to care for the patients…. if it’s an issue about increased deaths during a strike- the hospitals should do everything they can to negotiate- start on a different topic.

      Reply

      • Posted by marygracern on June 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm

        Guess you didn’t realize that the ONLY thing MNA wants to discuss is the staffing ratios…what I am hearing is that nothing else is on the table until the TCH cave on the ridiculous staffing ratios. MNA likes to report to the media and its members that the TCH are not bargaining in good faith…movement CAN be made on some of the issues on both sides. Why not start with where movement can be made and work up to the really difficult issues where the two sides are far apart? What about MNAs good faith? This game of chicken is getting really old, and the patients are caught in the middle….not the nurses by the way!
        Nurses have a voice if they choose to use it! Any union that would advise striking couldn’t possibly be concerned about patients.
        As for abandoning patients…guess what~if you walked out on June 10th you did abondon patients. You can swallow that junk MNA feeds you about the literality of your licensure, but really? Deep down don’t you know the difference don’t you? It didn’t feel good to walk out and that nagging unease in your belly is your conscience trying to get your attention. “Ample time to acquire replacements” ? Use your critical-thinking skills that your education provided you with and that MNA nurses in large numbers seem to have thrown out the window…Know why police and fire professionals can’t walk out on strike? Because there is the POTENTIAL that they may be needed…guess what…the nurses ARE needed. We shouldn’t be allowed to strike. We might just “replace” ourselves out of a job! We have actually proven we are replaceable!
        IF the conditions and staffing were really a safety issue this should have bubbled to the media, government etc for the past 3 years..MNA representatives and members should have stormed city hall, the governors mansion, the white house ! Candle light vigils for the past 3 years!…my goodness! Safeguarding the public only during contract negotiation seems a bit insincere doesn’t it?

        Reply

  9. Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    hat tip to anurse (AKA nostrikefornurses)

    I do know a nurse who was working during the strike in ’84….she was laid off after the strike and has not worked for a contract hospital since. In 1938 Mackay Radio and Telegraph did hire permanent replacements while the case was still being heard by the NLRB… When the case was settled there was no evidence that Mackay was guilty of ULP so they were allowed to keep the replacements that wanted to stay.

    Reply

  10. Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    hat tip ilovemyjob

    I heard from nurses who experienced the 84 strike that even once an agreement was made between the hospitals and MNA, it took weeks/ months before all units were up and “whole” again. Many nurses did not return to their original unit, point level, shift, or weekend rotation. I also heard that all nursing positions were re-posted and nurses had to “bid” on those positions as they came available. It sounds like many nurses were bumped out of their units and forced to take whatever options were open at the time of their call back.

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  11. Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    NRLB opinions for the last 5 years have been thrown out for not having an adequate number of people on the board and Republicans are stopping confirmation of Obama’s appointees to the Board. It’s highly unlikely the NRLB will get to any of the ULP’s before an open ended strike is over.

    The offer from the hospitals, which MNA has turned down, was to put off the strike until a date certain and they wouldn’t lock you out. The hospitals were sending a very clear message to you that you will be subject to lock out.

    It is not MNA who determines ULP and the NLRB is powerless to act.

    Reply

    • Posted by Wyzeguy on June 23, 2010 at 7:49 pm

      Do you suppose the hospitals might lock them out prior to July 1st preventing them from getting their benefits?

      Reply

      • Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 10:25 pm

        My guess would be a ‘no’.

        Reply

        • Posted by anotherview on June 27, 2010 at 5:38 am

          Agreed – most hospitals are still taking the high road through all of this. They are taking a hard line with MNA but they would not do anything to deliberately hurt the nurses since ultimately, we will all have to work together again. And, the hospitals know that not all the nurses are really behind this. They would not punish all to get to a few. Now, if the opportunity arises – might they hire permanant replacement workers – maybe. But that would be a last resort.

          Reply

  12. Please read the HIMSS for mandated ratios link under blog roll for a little more insight into the staffing ratios and the reason they should not be implemented.

    Reply

  13. Posted by Tom on June 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Here’s an interesting finding from a recent article by the National Bureau of Economic Research –> http://www.nber.org/papers/w16077

    The full report will cost you $5 but here is the summary that is published on-line:

    “Hospitals are currently under pressure to control the cost of medical care, while at the same time improving patient health outcomes. These twin concerns are at play in an important and contentious decision facing hospitals—choosing appropriate nurse staffing levels. Intuitively, one would expect nurse staffing ratios to be positively associated with patient outcomes. If so, this should be a key consideration in determining nurse staffing levels. A number of recent studies have examined this issue, however, there is concern about whether a causal relationship has been established. In this paper we exploit an arguably exogenous shock to nurse staffing levels. We look at the impact of California Assembly Bill 394, which mandated minimum levels of patients per nurse in the hospital setting. When the law was passed, some hospitals already had acceptable staffing levels, while others had nurse staffing ratios that did not meet mandated standards. Thus changes in hospital-level staffing ratios from the pre- to post-mandate periods are driven in part by the legislation. We find persuasive evidence that AB394 did have the intended effect of decreasing patient/nurse ratios in hospitals that previously did not meet mandated standards. However, our analysis suggests that patient outcomes did not disproportionately improve in these same hospitals. That is, we find no evidence of a causal impact of the law on patient safety.”

    Yet another indication that the Aikens study which MNA has placed so much emphasis on in pressing for fixed, mandatory staffing ratios does not really “prove” that outcomes improve due to staffing ratios. It show a correlation but not a cause-effect relationship because of the way in which it was designed. It was not a longitudinal study showing a before-and-after comparison of outcomes in one or more hospitals over time after staffing ratios were improved.

    Reply

    • Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 7:09 pm

      I’ll pay the $5 and post the document. I can’t do it right now but by tomorrow for sure.

      Reply

  14. Posted by Noncontract RN on June 23, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Im thrilled to have found this site. I am a non contract RN at one of the major Care Systems and as a Nurse I am shocked and appalled at the behaior of some of these MNA nurses and the bully tactics of the union. I have been reading the facebook site with utter disbelief..I am very sympathetic to any of the nurses who feel they need to do whats best for the patients and themselves and cross the picket lines..that being said…I have a question….If the contract expired May 31..couldnt the hospitals simply say..they are not willing to renew the contract and become a non union hospital? Could they ask the nurses to apply and work there a non union nurses and start an all out hiring process. I know it would take months but it might be better for them in the end to get out from under this union strong arm. Are they legally obligated forever to the union? Can they be held to an expired contract?

    Reply

    • There are so many legal implications regardin the union. Employees have the right to unionize so there is alot of protection. We have discussed the posibility of permanent replacements if this is not an unfair labor practice strike but no sure is those replacements would be able to be non-union. Someone did post some information about decertifying the union….we will have to see how negotiations go. Thanks for your comments and support!

      Reply

      • Posted by Leyla on June 25, 2010 at 7:08 pm

        This website gives me hope that a decertification process may begin. Decertifying a union, from the little research I’ve done, seems like an incredibly daunting task. However this website may make it possible for those wishing to be out from under the MNA to organize and call for a decertification vote. We’d need 30% of the bargaining unit to call for a decertification vote.

        http://nrtw.org/d/decert.htm

        Reply

        • Posted by anotherview on June 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm

          30% to call for a decertification vote but then you would have to get enough votes behind the movement to get it de-certified. Even if you could just get MNA to listen to reason and dump NNU, that may be enough to end the tactics of threat and intimidation. Seems worse since they left ANA and went with NNU.

          Reply

        • Posted by LoveMyJob on June 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm

          So if 30% of the bargaining unit are needed to decertify, how do those that resigned factor into that number. Hypothetical situation…. 80% resign and cross. Do they need 30% of those few that are remaining?

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          • Posted by anotherview on June 26, 2010 at 8:00 pm

            That’s a good question. I wonder if the hospital could petition that the majority of the RN’s don’t belong to MNA and request decertification. I really don’t know. Maybe someone could e-mail the NLRB?

            Reply

            • Posted by drichmn on June 26, 2010 at 8:08 pm

              I don’t think the hospital could get involved at all. The nurses would have to do it on their own. The last question in the updated MNA FAQ has a link that will give more information about how to organize to decertify.

    • Posted by drichmn on June 24, 2010 at 9:37 am

      welcome and thanks for commenting. I think the only way to de-certify a union is if the nurses vote to do that. dragonfly commented in “Thoughts on the strike” that nurses at Hazelden in Center City did de-certify MNA but it was not an easy task. I’m not well versed enough about unions to know if the hospitals did lock out the nurses and hired replacements what the status of the replacements would be vis a vis the union.

      Reply

  15. Posted by integritynurse on June 24, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Just came from work at Childrens. We called a code on our floor tonite. Everyone flew into action like a well oiled machine and we had a good outcome. Our charge nurse was awesome as well as everyone who participated. Now I am certain that I will cross the picket line, because I don’t think the “rent-a -nurses” can do as good a job as we can. I’m now scared not to cross the line, and leave these precious children in the hands of nurses they don’t know and who don’t know them. God help us all!

    Reply

  16. Posted by anotherview on June 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Spent a few minutes on the MNA blog. Interesting how you can’t post until you send them an e-mail so they can check you out first. I just don’t get how it is OK for MNA and members to claim their right of freedom to strike and freedom of speech but do not grant the same liberties to those with opposing views or who choose NOT to strike. A double standard if I ever saw one.

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  17. Posted by notsureyet on June 27, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    drichmn and anurse – you are both good at posting the facts and as I see it we are going be having company on this website. . You have all dug into some useful information on the MNA, people have asked good questions and good answers have been given. I hope people look around and read some of the facts that have been posted before they become nasty towards us. Even MNA people are starting to question why there is no strike fund and we were questioning that a while ago. This is not a popularity contest as pro-MNA nurses will feel, it is an informative site which they should honestly take a good look at- these things weren’t made up, we are all worried about our fellow employees- ALL of them. This could be the longest strike in US history so lets be thinking with clear heads here. Thankyou!

    Reply

    • Posted by drichmn on June 27, 2010 at 6:25 pm

      And we would like to keep the blog comments respectful of all sides of the issue even if we disagree. We can all work toward fostering that kind of environment here by not rising to the bait that some might throw our way. If it’s a comment that violates the blog goal as anurse has set out then that comment will be deleted so replying to it is unnecessary.

      Thanks to everybody for their cooperation.

      Reply

  18. Posted by notsureyet on June 27, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Well said! I hope everyone does their own thinking on this- so many influences right now and going to get worse. Good to have this support system and lots of insite to everything that is going on around us, helps to have a place to vent our fears and ask questions without being attacked as it is in the strib. Good luck to all of us as we will need it.

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  19. Posted by MNPharmGal on June 28, 2010 at 2:01 am

    I am a contract employee at ANW (non-nursing, but another professional) and am disheartened by the change in the mood at work over the last few months. I am also SO GLAD for this site. I’d posted several different times on Strib, and was so disgusted by the tone the comments tended to take. I’m thrilled that there is a place for nurses to go to have reasonable discussions about why a strike is such a bad idea. Our contract has a no-strike clause in it. For all that I have seen through this process, I more firmly believe that unions no longer have a place in healthcare. If I had the choice to vote today to get myself out of the union, I would vote a resounding “YES”. I know many of my other co-workers would do the same, and some of us have actually talked about “firing” one of our negotiators, because of their current leanings (supporting MNA). However, I don’t think any of my colleagues would attempt to suggest a vote to remove ourselves from the union, as we have at least 15 very high seniority people who would vote a resounding “NO” to remove the union.

    I am in the lower third of seniority, and am concerned that if the strike goes on for very long, I may be in danger of losing my job. A job that took 4 years of undergraduate school, in addition to 4+ years of professional school to obtain. I also have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and am looking at this with interest – how the mob mentality changes people.

    I want all of you nurses who plan to cross the picket line – there are other contract employees, myself included, who will support you and will be glad to see you there to take care of our patients. To the agency nurses who will be there taking over for the striking nurses – I will be there to help you as much as I am able. I will not call anyone names, but will do everything that I can to make sure things continue to run smoothly. Thank you for realizing that the patients deserve better and for continuing to fight for your cause.

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  20. Posted by concernedrn on June 28, 2010 at 7:18 am

    I have been reading the comments posted both here and on the Star Tribune. One thing that has not been brought up with the staffing proposal is this – what happens in the Emergency Department?

    If there are strict staffing ratios and a mandate to fill only 90% of beds, there will be a back-up of patients in the ED. If there are strict staffing ratios for the ED RNs, patients will either 1) wait in triage, or 2) wait in ambulances. If there is overcrowding in the ED, the ED can go on divert, but that only means that ambulances cannot come to the ED. When three or more hospitals go on divert, all have to go off of divert. And emergency patients – including those having an MI, stroke, or mental health crisis – will still walk through the door.

    So where is the safety? You might have multiple critically ill/injured patients in the ED being taken care of by one ED nurse; 5 or 10 or 20 patients in triage being monitored by one triage nurse (and that’s before we know what’s wrong with them!); and/or patients circling the hospitals in an ambulance because there is nowhere to go. I fail to understand how any of that is safe or avoidable with the lack of flexibility that staffing ratios afford.

    There are other ways to work with the hospitals to ensure safe patient care, most of which are in place in the Twin Cities Hospitals. Staffing ratios, not proven to work in the inpatient world, will only make things worse in the outpatient world.

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    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 7:28 am

      interesting perspective. There is actually a study about that and it did show that ED wait times increased substantially. It did not address the divert issues that you bring up.

      Reply

  21. Posted by acsofs on June 28, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Yes, those are interesting questions you raise concernedrn. Also, how would insurance coverage be impacted by this 90% capacity and divert plan? If a person’s surgery is rescheduled due to this, will insurance cover the costs to do another H & P visit within 7 days of the rescheduled surgery? How will pre-admit procedures/exams for hem/onc and neuro patients be impacted by this if their prescheduled admission must be changed? Will insurance companies gladly pay for treatment at an “outside” hospital? Will they balk at reimbursement for prolonged paramedic treatments as the medics search for a hospital open to admissions?

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  22. Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    I was very upset by the voting process last week. I had made up my mind to vote “no” but when I got there, the union did everything they could to push me into voting yes. When I got my ballot, the women pointed to the “yes” box and said mna is recommending a “yes” vote. As if anyone voted that day had any question on that. Then when i went to check my “no” box, there was no where private to do it. Anyone could have seen my vote then and on my way to place my vote in the ballot box. What other vote do you get told what to vote then have no privacy to vote as you choose. Luckily that just made my “no” decision easier since i was so outraged the union had the audacity to tell me how I should vote. I’m sure there were many people that felt intimidated and felt they couldn’t say no. Its not a true vote if some people voted yes by intimidation alone!

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  23. Posted by listenup123 on June 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    A little inspirational quote:
    “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.”
    Calvin Coolidge-

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  24. Posted by Tom on June 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Here’s an interesting article and an even more interesting exchange between a couple of readers in the comment section –> http://www.medcitynews.com/2010/06/high-on-ambition-low-on-cash-twin-cities-hospitals-face-choices/comment-page-1/#comment-83125

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  25. Posted by Pam Kaiser on June 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Perhaps another inspirational thought might be considered from John 15:17:
    “This is my commandment, that you love one another”. As a Christian I believe that I am called to care for the precious souls God places in my hands. If my hospital is forced to strike, I will have no choice but to cross the picket line. As much as I like my coworkers and would like to support them, I must answer to a higher Power than the MNA.

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  26. Posted by Tom on June 29, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Here’s an interesting study regarding “Operational Failures and Interruptions in Hospital Nursing”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1713207/

    The money-quote in the conclusions of this study: “Our findings suggest that nurse effectiveness can be increased by creating improvement processes triggered by the occurrence of work system failures, with the goal of reducing future occurrences. Second, given that nursing work is fragmented and unpredictable, designing processes that are robust to interruption can help prevent errors.”

    These are the very things that Twin Cities hospitals have been concentrating on. And, when they request “flexibility” in staffing, they are talking about just this — there’s more than just one way to reduce workload for RNs and other patient care team members and the most cost-effective way is to reduce error, redundancy and re-work.

    There is good opportunity for nurses to work with care teams and the “owners” of these systems and processes (pharmacy, CSR, lab, IT, etc.) to improve bedside care, increase reliability, timeliness and outcomes and increasing their own professional satisfaction here, I think.

    Reply

    • Posted by notwalking on June 30, 2010 at 1:27 am

      I could certainly care for an additional patient, easily, if it were not for all the redundant computer charting required. It’s like a scavenger hunt to find info. There isn’t anything I despise more than our computer system. I was a traveler and never had a problem learning the nuts and bolts, entering orders and charting assessments over the course of one orientation shift. Computer charting is extemely and unnecessarily time consuming. “Interruptions in Nursing”…….funny

      Reply

  27. Posted by Anonymous and frustrated on June 30, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    After todays revelations over the negotiations it is very clear that the MNA has a bigger agenda than getting a good contract for its nurses. They do not care about the contract. They do not care about the pension. They do not care about the nurses. They do not care about getting a good contract. They do not care about our families. They do not care about the community. They do not care about the patients. They do not care about the employer or if they go out of business. They do not care about the rest of the hospital staff from the volunteers to the doctors.
    All they care about is themselves and showing that they have power. They are trying to prove that they are more powerful than the hospitals. They are trying to prove that they have more influence over the nurses. They are trying to prove that they can get more public support.
    The MNA will destroy itself. It will destroy the nursing profession. It will destroys hospitals. It will destroy the lives of nurses. It will destroy the lives of other staff in the hospital. It will destroy the patients trust in health care. It will destroy the public support of nursing.

    Reply

    • Anonymous and frustrated…..I don’t know how nurses, who are such an intelligent group, can continue to allow MNA to lead us in this direction. MNA will attempt to justify what they have done..and some will believe them.

      Reply

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