Fall is here and Election Day is near!
We reopened the history books this year and are seeing nurse advocacy like we have never seen before in chapters across our union. As we move into the last weeks of the election season, we are advocating to elect politicians who stand side-by-side with nurses and healthcare workers and the patients we care for. We need leaders who will stand up for safe, quality care. Assuring we have elected officials who prioritize the hard work we do will pave a path for the future of patient care across the Commonwealth.
Imagine if we had safe staffing legislation for nurses and how that would impact the care you provide. Imagine leaving at the end of a shift feeling like you were able to give the care you would want to provide to your own family.
This is possible.
This is possible when we take a deep look at the candidates we cast our vote for. You will find that this edition of our newsletter highlights a “report card” of how candidates are prioritizing nurses, healthcare workers, and the patients we serve. Before you vote this November, learn how your elected officials stand on our issues in the midst of a staffing and healthcare delivery crisis.
Please reach out with your stories and ideas for future newsletters. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime!
Denelle Korin, RN, Nurse Member Coordinator
Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare PA
Pittsburgh Healthcare Workers Hearing and UPMC Working Conditions
On Sept. 26, UPMC healthcare workers testified before Pennsylvania House Democrats, sharing deeply moving testimony about working conditions at UPMC facilities. Their testimony was both powerful and emotionally moving. Their message: low wages, short staffing, and worsening mental health are pushing hospital workers away from their jobs.
“My unit saw a lot of COVID patients, many of whom were extremely sick,” testified RN Jessica G., of UPMC Presbyterian. “It was not unusual to spend a full 12-hour shift desperately trying to save one patient’s life — still very few of these COVID patients survived. It was difficult, and often, we had the added emotional toll of having to give terrible news to their families… When I finally got to my breaking point and tried to get help, UPMC was essentially useless. Three counseling sessions were all they offered to employees suffering the effects of work-related traumatic stress.”
Watch this powerful video of testimony from brave UPMC caregivers here. If you’re a UPMC employee and would like to share your story, you can go to pghhospitalworkers.com/testify/ or by call 412-223-7751 to schedule an interview.
Nurse Webinar with Josh Shapiro!
On Sunday, October 2, 2022, Nurses from across the state met with Josh Shapiro, our endorsed candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania. Nurses talked candidly about the issues we face in healthcare, highlighting the staffing crisis that continues to impact staffing and patient safety.
We asked Josh to share his plans to help nurses move forward and he committed to codifying safe staffing ratios into law and has made it a goal to get it done in his first year in office.
Learn more about what Josh Shapiro wants for Pennsylvania nurses here.
State Investigators Get Act 102 Education
Andrea Paganie, from SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania’s Member Resource Center, and Denelle Korin, RN, from the Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare PA spent a day in Harrisburg as part of a panel to educate state investigators on Act 102 violations by healthcare providers.
We know that the staffing crisis has led to an increase in mandations and to management finding ways to skirt this law. Providing insight into the many bad practices by managers was very helpful to the state investigators at this conference.
Admittedly, the Bureau of Labor has a backlog of Act 102 complaints dating back to before the pandemic, but they are working diligently to work through these complaints and seek resolution to hold employers accountable.
The bureau is also looking into language that would hopefully improve the language and make it more clear in the future. We are hopeful that the Bureau will continue to work with us, but we cannot do this work without supportive candidates who understand the importance of moving laws that prioritize workers’ rights and not corporate greed.
Nurses Issue ‘Report Card’ for 2022 Candidates
Pennsylvania nurses are determined to advocate for our patients in our hospitals and nursing homes in the upcoming election. We want to provide high-quality care that meets our patients’ needs. But healthcare CEOs and the politicians they have paid for are making care decisions for our patients and keeping our facilities understaffed. That is why we are coming together in this election to demand safe staffing, the freedom for patients to get the care they need, and a voice in all decisions affecting us and our patients.
Check out the Nurses of Pennsylvania Candidate Scorecard here.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Moral Injury Education
Nurses have spent the last few years facing tremendous uncertainty, working in harsh and tragic patient care environments, and trying our best to heal and advocate for our patients. We face a range of emotions and feelings because our moral compass has been challenged.
Join us as we explore the concept of Moral Injury, which shifts focus from the harm we feel as individuals to the harm being caused by broken institutions.
Mark your calendar for what will be another powerful education session!