NEW YORK NURSE: April 2008
by Susan Casadone, RNC, President, NYSNA Congress of Bargaining Unit Leaders
“I’m driving home from work. I have worked fifteen hours today and find no satisfaction or pride in the job I did. Tears well in my eyes. I am so tired and so worn.”
These are the words and sentiments expressed to me recently by a person who has been committed to the profession of nursing for several years. She went on to describe:
Was this statement made by a nurse working in a hospital represented for collective bargaining?
The answer lies in the last bulleted item: “meeting after meeting.” There is no such thing in an unrepresented facility. Staff nurses are not encouraged to bring forward their concerns or ideas for problem solving. Decisions are made unilaterally without input from those who must implement them. Change comes from people who sit behind desks and not those who stand at the bedside.
I am not living under the illusion that a perfect work environment can be created solely by representation, but I do believe that we are a lot closer to it than are our unrepresented sisters and brothers. Our commitment to the practice of nursing and the patients who trust us with their lives obligates us to spread the word to our unrepresented peers.
Corporate mentality cannot direct the healthcare profession without the contribution of those who must deliver it. The bottom line to us is the well-being of the people in our care. The bottom line for management is the dollar. We need to work in concert to find a way to deliver optimal care to the many and to do it economically. This collaboration can only succeed with contributions from both sides of the table.