Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Deep Breath

The first responder comes upon an MVA. She calls 911 and stays with the driver until the ambulance arrives.
Deep breath.
The ambulance crew stabilizes the patient and transports to the hospital.
Deep breath.
The ED gets X-rays, CT, labs, gives blood, and transports to the OR.
Deep breath.
The OR performs initial lifesaving surgery and hands off to critical care.
Deep breath.
The initial steps of survival and eventual recovery.

Months have passed since our first meetings with organizers and fellow nurses in coffee shops. Many hours in meetings, visiting houses, talking with nurses, planning and making decisions. It wasn’t easy, there were many episodes of personal attacks, being called traitors, bullies, being accused of neglecting patients, being told our coworkers had complained. We have withstood captive audience meetings, as a group and when managers cornered us one on one.
We stood strong because we stood together, and we prevailed. We should be proud of what we have accomplished, we have done what few people ever get the chance to do, we have built a union.
Deep breath.
Now we go to the next step, there is still work to do. The patient is stabilized and now recovery can begin.
We are reaching out to ALL RNs. Every nurse has an equal voice, regardless of their feelings prior to the vote, regardless of the level of their involvement up to this point. We are forming a bargaining committee to lead us and we must all stay involved. There is a role for everyone.
Like the links in the Chain of Survival, our union will only be as strong as our weakest link, our least involved member.
Join us on this journey. If you have been waiting, consider this your invitation. We both want and need you. We begin this Friday at our first meeting/victory party. Hope to see you there.
Deep breath.

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