Labor turmoil stretched by Delta shakes hospitals

Resignation and strikes occurred as the hospital was dealing with the delta variant. This is an influx of chronically ill patients who postponed care last year, and many states are expected to see more cases of Covid, preparing for the colder months of the flu season.

Labor issues also ease the licensing requirements for regional health systems that have been hit hard by Delta variants to expand the pool of staff available for expensive travel nurses, National Guard, or state officials. It happens in the face of widespread staff shortages that have forced us to become more and more dependent.

Frustration has been transformed into organized strikes across the country. From Kaiser Permanente on the west coast to Catholic Health in Buffalo, NY, thousands of workers are on strike with the largest medical system in the United States. On Monday, 250 nurses from the Community First Medical Center in Chicago voted for the strike.

Employees contacted by POLITICO feel that healthcare professionals have changed from “hero to zero” in the eyes of the general public, making it difficult to withstand the stress that underlies their work. I said there is.

“Outside the hospital, the’Heroes Work Here’signboard now looks a bit hollow,” Dennis Duncan, president of the California Union of Nurses and Medical Professionals, told POLITICO. “It’s almost forgotten.”

Healthcare workers who spoke with POLITICO said they wanted to take advantage of the public goodwill deposited in banks at the beginning of the health crisis to capture this moment of ever-increasing demand for services. .. They admit that they could suffer public contempt for quitting their job in the midst of a pandemic, but they say they have no choice but to use the leverage they have.

They said they didn’t get the protective gear they needed, even when they were hit by elevated roads and salutes deep in the pandemic. In addition to being burned out in nearly two years of fighting Covid, they are now under threat of physical violence.

“We’re drowning here,” said Mike Pineda, a senior transport technician at the Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, California, and a steward of the recent strike hospital SEIU-UHW union. He blamed the shortage and management of upbringing. Difficult working environment.

“Everyone’s hurt has come to the point where people are frustrated,” Pineda said. “People will take leave. [their] It just burns out your body. “

Many staff in Antioch and across the country say that a shortage of workers takes longer to hospitalize people from the emergency room and increases the risk of infections and accidents as fewer nurses treat more patients. Is said to mean.

Sutter Health said in a statement that labor issues were largely avoided throughout the system, but acknowledged “long-standing staffing issues.”

Kaiser Permanente of Southern California resolved this week to allow 21,000 members to strike. They are angry with what they call low wages and especially the benefits of new employees.

Another 3,400 Kaiser workers in Oregon, a member of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Medical Professionals, voted to strike similar concerns. Negotiations with management are ongoing.

Whether it’s due to staff shortages, inadequate wages, or workplace conditions, healthcare professionals are trying to squeeze more concessions from management than ever before.

“We have never heard the word” strike “from our members, whether or not they are covered by a contract. Whether they are in negotiations or not, “said Jamie Lucas, Managing Director of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Medical Professionals. “They’re sick of it. The reason has always been there, but there’s a new perception that they have the upper hand.”

Vaccine mandates recently imposed have created some isolated strikes and threats of strikes, but industry leaders have been largely driven by anxiety in ways that pandemics have exacerbated unacceptable working conditions. Say there is.

“It’s unfair to blame staff shortages for vaccination requirements,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, which represents tens of thousands of healthcare workers across the country. “Most people were happy to get their shots. This anxiety preceded Covid and has been around for a long time, which is related to terrible wages and working conditions.”

Hospital executives admit that staffing issues have been a long-standing problem and have been exacerbated exponentially by Covid-19, which exposed vulnerabilities in the medical system.Biden administration Promised surge The number of federal personnel was well below what was needed. The states, which were unable to receive staffing assistance, received additional funding, but were unable to find enough doctors and health care workers to fill the hospital gap.

Shereef Elnahal, CEO of University Hospital in Newark, NJ, said “recorded in some areas” due to “unprecedented” patient-bearing burnout and high wages from dispatched laborers. We see a number of resignations. “

Ernahar said the emergency department staffing was particularly devastated during the pandemic and believes that a national shortage is behind the recent surge in nosocomial infections.

Employee demand has created the equivalent of a bidding war between hospitals over visiting nurses. The hospital pays a dispatching company up to $ 10,000 a week for temporary nurses to fill the shift. It can create unpleasant scenarios for employees working alongside temporary workers who are ordering higher wages. It is also possible that some full-time staff may leave the hospital position to become travel nurses, exacerbating the staff crisis.

Healthcare professionals and their representatives say that for most of last year they acted in emergency mode with a spirit of just passing through. Covid says he’s been dragging for so long that people working on the front lines can no longer accept it.

“You can do anything for a week, but not when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mark Wietecha, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Association. “No one thought we were still in this place in October 2021.”

Labor turmoil stretched by Delta shakes hospitals

Source link Labor turmoil stretched by Delta shakes hospitals

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