More than 200 Kaiser Permanente RNs rallied outside the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center February 27 to sound a public alarm about patient care reductions the HMO giant is proposing for its new Oakland facility which is expected to open this summer.
RNRN has learned from our experience responding to disaster over the last decade that RN's have an especially important role to play in relief efforts, after the TV cameras have gone and the initial responders are depleted or deployed elsewhere.
There are dozens of arguments about what our tax dollars should be doing. But what if we spent a portion of our tax dollars on the one thing that would position every American, young and old, on the road to success?
Maybe a standard nurse-to-patient ratio is the way to go. It would certainly be better than what we have now. Patients on our inpatient psychiatric units deserve better than what we, given staffing cuts, are able to give.
Every nurse I talked to earlier in the day at a rally in downtown Chicago and before the show had a similar personal story to add to the Smith's Tell Us Where It Hurts show. Not one nurse thought either the U.S. health care system or the U.S. economy was working.
Anyone who believes that American doctors call the shots when it comes to providing medical care for their insured patients is sadly mistaken. Insurance companies essentially have the power to make what amount to life and death decisions.
Tonya had flown into DC earlier that day from her hometown of Bemidji, Minnesota. Bemidji is 1,318 miles from Washington, D.C. When I asked if Tonya had come with a group of nurses, she just smiled and shook her head. "As far as I know I am the only one from Bemidji."
Our message, which parallels the voices ringing out this year in the streets of Madison, Lansing, Columbus, and other embattled cities, is America's workers built this country, and we're going to take it back.
Recall the pledge made by candidate Obama in 2007: "If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House ... I'll walk on that picket line with you."
Another day, another concession to Wall Street, its trade lobby the Chamber of Commerce, and the rejectionists in Congress. The result: an extension of tax cuts for the rich and gutting of the estate tax.