Massachusetts nurses just won epic 10-month strike


But it was grassroots nurses who told me that, contrary to the hospital’s claims about its “strong infection prevention practices,” during Covid-19, nurses had no risk premium, time off illness or, during the first wave, functional protective equipment. . “We were told, oh you can use one mask for three shifts, then the next day they said five shifts,” Soper said, recalling receiving a Tupperware container to drill holes and store used masks between shifts. “We were doing the opposite of what is certain, of what is normal.”

In 2020, Tenet job a profit of $ 414 million, spent $ 1 billion to expand its operations and prepay its corporate debts, while cutting down this He called the “aggressive staffing levels” demanded by nurses in Saint-Vincent. During the same period of the start of the pandemic, nurses said they filed more than 600 ‘unsafe staffing’ reports informing management in real time of issues. such as “An increase in patient falls, an increase in patients suffering from preventable pressure ulcers, [and] potentially dangerous delays in patients receiving necessary drugs and other treatments. Management did not respond to these complaints by spending money on care. Labor and delivery nurse Dierdre Simpkins suggested this was because key patient care decisions at St. Vincent were made in the meeting rooms, not at the bedside. the CEO of Saint-Vincent, for example, is a chemical engineer with an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Nurses are the ones who know what good care looks like, yet they are rarely seen as experts in their field. Marie Ritacco, post-anesthetic care nurse at the hospital, thinks it has something to do with the fact that as a profession, nursing is overwhelmingly female. “They think that just because we are women, we are built to take care of people and can do it under any conditions,” Ritacco said.

The image of a nursery nurse is used not only to discredit the expertise of nurses but also to make them feel guilty about providing care in unsafe conditions. “Before the strike,” recalls LeBlanc, “we asked her, ‘What would Florence Nightingale do? Was she going to “abandon” her patients and go on strike? “

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