October, 2007 Archive

October 10, 2007, 8:53 am


Here is a press release from CNA/NNOC.  I’m speechless.  This insults not only the California nurses, but it insults the nurses they are trying to recruit.  I can’t speak for every nurse in the country, but it would be a cold day in hell before I ever considered breaking a nursing strike.  Sounds like Sutter has plenty o’ money when they want to have it.

If you want to see it on the original page, the link is here:

 Sutter’s Open Checkbook – for Strikebreakers, Offering $90 per Hour, “luxury hotel” stay

When it comes to paying for professional strike breakers, the sky is apparently the limit for Sutter Health corporation, according to recruitment flyers obtained and released today by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.

Nearly 5,000 registered nurses will be on strike Oct. 10 and 11 at 15 Northern California hospitals, all but two part of Sutter Health.

Though CNA provided the hospitals with 12 days, advance notice to allow the hospitals to postpone elective procedures and scale back as needed, and has established patient care task forces of striking RNs to assist in the case of genuine patient emergencies, Sutter officials have chosen to hire strikebreaking agencies for several of their hospitals.

And they are apparently willing to spend unlimited amounts for both the nurses who will cross picket lines and the agencies that bring them in.

One flyer sent to nurses in Ohio offers nurses “up to $90” per hour, airfare or other transportation to the Bay Area, and stays in “luxury accommodations in San Francisco. Minutes from the San Francisco shopping centers and downtown attractions. You are driven to the hospital from your luxury hotel.” (flyer available upon request)

The flyer lists a phone number for Health Source Global Staffing. The flyer says the nurses are “needed between October 8th and October 15” – a clear indication that Sutter intends to lock out some RNs after the strike ends on Oct. 11.

On its website, HSGS also treats the recruitment of professional strike breakers as a luxury tourist opportunity, noting, “See your friends and tour California during the best time of year.”

In addition to exorbitant pay for the strike nurses, travel, hotel, and other benefits, the strike agencies typically demand additional payment for its officials, their travel costs, other perquisites, and office equipment. The total price tag could be in the millions. 

“This is a shameful waste of critical resources by Sutter that could be far better spent on addressing its serious patient care problems and protecting the retirement security of its RNs,” said Rose Ann DeMoro, CNA/NNOC executive director. “The tone of revelry from the recruitment materials shows the disdain these fly-by-night agencies, and the hospital corporations that employ them, have for our communities, and that Sutter has for its RNs.”

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October 9, 2007, 12:13 pm

Emergency Nursing: It is What It is


I love this ad.

I’ve used it before.

There was a time when this single piece of paper was the difference between a burn out of no return and a rekindling of the reasons I went into nursing to begin with.

I’m not burning out, I know what that feels like.

I guess I’m just weary of work. It’s not like I’m overdoing it, I only work three days a week.

Which makes me a weary wimp!

Ah, well.

I have a whole month off starting in November. I’ll spend the entire time at Starbucks.


Emergency nursing is:

… your fourth septic work-up on an elderly nursing home resident with automatic admit and 58% more paperwork.

… your fourth six-month-old-with-fever who smiles while you talk, at least until you go for the rectal temperature.

… the frantic parents of a newborn who aren’t sure about the difference between spitting-up and vomiting.

… telling a woman who is 14 weeks pregnant that there is no fetal heartbeat.


… the chaos of a full arrest.

… the stillness of a cold, rainy 0400.

… the pungent odor of ETOH and urine emanating from a cursing homeless guy.

… the smell of Old Spice and the stories of a World War II veteran waiting for his labs.

… a patient with metastatic cancer who still wants to fight,

… in the room next to the teenager who tried to commit suicide via acetaminophen.


… knowing drug-seeking behavior when you see it.

… wanting to give the patient the benefit of the doubt.

… getting chewed out for the wait time by the patient with a stubbed baby toe.

… not being able to move fast enough to keep up with a GI bleeder.

… explaining for the bazillionth time why a fever is not dangerous.

… explaining to the parents why their child needs transferring to a pediatric facility.


… finding five different ways of saying “we don’t give advice over the phone” without actually giving advice.

… taking the call from the pharmacist when the patient alters the Vicodin scrip to read #120.

… frustration over ever increasing paperwork requirements.

… getting it done anyway.

… pulling the Gummy Bear out of a nose.

… watching a child (of any age) say good-bye to their father for the last time.


… wishing your co-workers would move a little faster…

… and then pulling an extra shift so they are off for THE concert of the year.

… hating your job with a passion today and

… realizing you wouldn’t want to be doing anything else tomorrow.

… ending your shift with the feeling that maybe, just maybe, you made a difference to someone.

Emergency nursing.

It is what it is.

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9:15 am

Grand Rounds: A Military Salute


This week Grand Rounds salutes those who serve our country in the armed services, with poignant posts and eloquent, painted depections of war.

Mother Jones has the hosting duties over at Nurse Ratched’s Place.

Reading those posts definitely puts our day-to-day problems and disagreements into perspective.


Speaking of those day-to-day problems and disagreements, my post on the upcoming (as of this writing) strike by Sutter Health nurses was included in Grand Rounds.

I receive my blog comments as emails and the posts/opinions on both sides of the debate have been interesting as well as enlightening. Many thanks to all who took the time to weigh in on the issue!


Change of Shift is here a week from Thursday.  Nursing related posts can be sent to me using the contact form above, or through Blog Carnival.

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About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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