WORKIN’ NIGHTS ON THE CHEAP
Hennipin County Medical Center’s solution to the nursing shortage is drastically reducing their pay while implementing formidable barriers towards additional economic opportunities such as a second job or brick and mortar schools. Solutions defaulting to gender injustice on both counts.
Nurses are grumbling out loud about Hennipen County Medical Center’s current changes in the nurses work schedule from the fixed-schedule model to the now required shift-rotation, while simultaneously being hit with a pay cut in the form of a drastic reduction in night shift pay. States one HCMC registered nurse., “…along with other problems , I don’t know what kind of people they think they will be attracting in the future with this change…”
Management prefers the rotation shift for many reasons, among these: most formal training education is done during the day; rotations help balance the skills of their nurses by exposure to the varied shifts; recruitment of new nurses is hoped to be easier with rotation shifts being offered versus offering pre-dominately the night shift to the new oncomers.
Rotation shifts helps management with problem solving but increases the problems for the majority of the nurses including cutting off their access to economic opportunities According to Shift Schedule Design: www.shift-schedule-design.com/27.html
‘‘When surveyed, 83% of employees say they prefer a fixed shift schedule.
Fixed shifts make it easier for them to schedule family events, doctor appointments,
daycare, etc. Fixed shifts also increase opportunities to attend college, hold second
jobs, and participate in community activities.’
Research consistently continues to vary on the conclusion of the night shift’s adverse effects on ones body vs rotating shift effects. According to www.circadian studies and conclusions:
“There is still a lack of conclusive data on the effects of fixed vs rotation shifts on
Bottom line is every hospital’s sleep centers, promote , “Maintain a regular bed and wake schedule.”
Nursing shortage is a real problem that needs to be addressed for the nurses sake as well as the patients. States HCMC registered nurse, “I have found nurses crying in closets. They are too afraid to tell their supervisors that they are overwhelmed.” Research forecasts the nursing shortage to continue and increase into the baby boomers later years, bringing more demand on this system along with ObamaCare adding more people into the health care system.
With this nursing shortage and its continued forecast plus a shift change that adversely affects the worker , what’s the reasoning and who benefits from both the nurses pay reduction and their imposed reductions in opportunities? States an ex-employee, “I will never go back…they tell us the upper levels don’t get pay cuts because……”
Taking away pay for no valid reason and reducing economic opportunities for these nurses is gender injustice and another labor move that reduces the middle class.
The International Labor Organization advises: www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public, Measuring Progress and Identifying Challenges.
“we need to ensure that the goal of gender justice does not get lost in the
face of the current (or any future) economic crisis. “Although gender equality
is widely re-garded as a worthwhile goal, it is also seen as having potential
costs or even acting as a constraint on economic growth, and while this view
may not be evident in official policy it remains implicit in policy decisions. For
example, where there is pressure to increase the quantity of work or promote
growth, progress to- wards gender equality may be regarded as something that
can be postponed. However, it is possible to make an economic case for gender
equality, as an investment, such that it can be regarded as a means to promote
growth and employment rather than act as a cost or constraint. As such, equality
policies need to be seen in a wider perspective with a potentially greater impact
on individuals, firms, regions and nations.”
Will these imposed constraints and reduction in pay , pay off ? Will nurses adopt these decisions? Nurses are trained to fight for others and the’re tired. States an HCMC registered nurse, “……………other hospitals are looking at this change and considering these policy changes.” Are these CEO’s crying in their closets ? … Lorraine
social media is a good forum to promote transparency of the changes in occupations.