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CA Hospital Patient's Death Betrays a Trust

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 3, 2011

The California Hospital Association also weighed in. "It is inappropriate and irresponsible for the California Nurses Association labor union to exploit this tragedy to further their union agenda," CHA President and CEO Duane Dauner said.

"This is the same union that has taken nurses away from patient bedsides more than 100 times during the past three years. It also is unfortunate that the nurses union is questioning the qualifications of other nurses providing patient care," he said.

No need to pick sides in this fight. There is plenty of blame to go around.

Let's start with the nurses.

DeMoro is asking us to believe that the lock-out was "irresponsible" but that somehow the strike that prompted 23,000 nurses at several hospitals across the state to abandon their patients for one day was not.

Yes, the patient was harmed during the lockout, and not on the strike day, and it's not clear if any patients were harmed during the one-day strike. What if they were? Would the striking nurses have been accountable then? Would we have even heard about Ming's death if the mistake had been made by a union nurse before or after the lockout?

According to the federal government, adverse events in hospitals kill tens of thousands of people each year and we don't hear much about individual cases. Would CNA/NNU have demanded accountability and challenged the competency of one of their own? Or, would they have blamed staffing ratios?

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6 comments on "CA Hospital Patient's Death Betrays a Trust"


Maureen Dugan (10/5/2011 at 2:21 AM)
Yes Registered Nurses are trusted by patients and the community. We did not betray that trust. That was done by hospital administrators such as Sutter, who refuse to negotiate in good faith. Registered Nurses do not strike lightly. We are held to a 100% standard of providing safe, effective and therapeutic care[INVALID]and yet how do we as nurses hold the hospital to their 100% of responsibility? Thankfully , as a member of a all RN Union , we have a voice. We speak up every day and every way afforded to us. What we hear in response is: no staff is available, you have to make due, our budget is fixed, ignore the obscene raises and bonuses the CEO, etc are getting, there is no more nursing staff to assist you....Nurses are standing up , advocating for our patients and our profession. If I do not do that I can have my license revoked by the state. My patients trust me to fight for them , and that is what I do every day for the last 22 years.

april (10/4/2011 at 9:44 PM)
ARE YOU KIDDING ME????!!!!! You think doctors treat patients for no money (where the hell did you get that from by the way), you think doctors have to put up with the CRAP that nurses have to put up with from management trying to change the ways we KNOW patients should be treated? We have a solid education in patient care but the people who decide how to treat patients sit behind a desk. Ridiculous. If nurses made more decisions on patient care errors and death rates would plummet.

Sheri (10/4/2011 at 7:27 PM)
Really? at Chloes comment above- Doctors look at insurance cards far more often than nurses ever do.