Happy Nurses Week 2022!
During the pandemic we took on our responsibilities as nurses, we showed up, and we did our jobs, even when it put ourselves and our family’s lives at risk. Now we are seeing recent and unfortunate instances of nurses being solely blamed and criminally charged for providing direct patient care in dangerous working conditions ultimately created by hospital systems. More than ever we need to change laws and reform our healthcare system to protect our patients and invest in our dedicated nurses who faithfully provide quality care.
In my discussions with nurses from across the state, it became very clear that one of the biggest needs in this moment is a tool for nurses to document unsafe staffing conditions so that we can protect our licenses.
That’s why this Nurses Week, we have developed a helpful tool for our nurse members that will be easy to access. This tool will hold our hospitals accountable to provide conditions that are safe as we strive to provide quality patient care. Note: At this point this tool is only intended for use by SEIU HCPA member nurses in hospitals, though we are very interested to expand that in the coming months.
You can access this form at any time by going to seiuhcpa.org/ado!
The form contains detailed instructions, and it is intended for use at the beginning of your shift or whenever conditions become unsafe in your assignment. Please know you should fill this out AFTER you have objected to your supervisor. Then, you can edit the submission following your shift.
When you complete our Assignment Despite Objection form, three parties will receive a PDF copy of what you have submitted for their records:
- You will receive an email containing a PDF record of your submission.
- Your supervisor will receive an email containing a PDF record of your submission.
- SEIU Healthcare PA also maintains records of all submissions to assist in record-keeping for nurses, as well as to compile aggregations of reports for research, bargaining, and advocacy purposes.
I know that a tool to document you’re being assigned to dangerous conditions, despite objection, is not as good as winning the Patient Safety Act that sets safe staffing standards in PA hospitals (let’s keep working on that!). Until we can share in that victory, I hope this form will serve to help as you continue to provide life-saving care in our communities. We know that during this Nurses Week instead of being listened to, you will be given free cookies, pizza, and other ridiculous tokens of thanks, as we have for decades. Please know that we hear you, we will continue to advocate with you, and we will certainly continue to fight with you for what is best for our profession during this Nurses Week, and every week, UNTIL WE WIN.
I look forward to hearing feedback from you about this form, tell me your feedback as well as suggestions to make it better for nurses in our union. I hope you have a great Nurses Week.
Michelle Boyle RN
Member Nurse Coordinator, Nurse Alliance of SEIU PA