Eastern Maine Medical Center is located in Bangor, Maine. It is a 411 bed facility which serves the mid to upper state of Maine. We have received many awards for patient care and satisfaction. To me these are the only awards that I hold dear. The only ones that mean something to me. I know what care is given within this hospital. Our nurses are top notch.
I don't care if we get awards for being the "most wired hospital", nor do I really care if we are the honey's of the "Joint Commission". I mostly say "okay, cool" when we get these awards and go on with my day. Inside these walls are some of the most caring nurses I have ever worked with. Nurses all over this country work hard. Nursing is more than a career. It is who we are. If you know a nurse you know what I mean. If you are a child of a nurse you have a completely different perception of what a nurse is. Nurses are the backbone of the hospital. We assess, treat, provide comfort and care, perform skills independently. No longer are we the doctors handmaidens of the past. We work side by side with our physicians, together as a team.
So why are we striking? Our contract is up. We came to the bargaining table with complete faith that we could make changes that would keep our patients safe. Please notice that I say "our" and not the. We take ownership of our care and our patients. Our nurses are overworked. The nurse to patient ratio on the floors has become dangerous. In ICU we have ratios that are safe. 1 nurse to every 1-2 patients. This is a workable ratio for us. On the floors there can and often is 1 nurse to 5-7 patients. The nurses can't answer call bells, assess patients, give meds, pass trays, call Dr's, update families, check on labs, call results, treat for pain, and be there to support our patients. We are transferring sicker patients out of the ICU sooner. These patients would go to step down units in many other hospitals. Over worker and stressed nurses have more med errors, more call in's due to illness, and burnout. We are striking for Safe Patient Staffing Levels.
We stand untied. We stand in the rain. We are cold and wet but with smiling faces.
We stand together. We stand strong. We stand in a line all the way down the street.
Ted stands with us. We have support from family and friends. We have support from patients that know what we are fighting for.
I'm so proud of my sisters and brothers.
We have support from the community. The honks made us louder. The more honks the more nurses cheering.
To the haters out there. To the ones who have listened to the media not the facts. No we aren't after money. No raise is even mentioned in the contract. We want this message to be clear. We are for our patients. We want to provide safe care. We are standing in the rain for you. To management, come to the table in good faith. You hired scab nurses many months ago in preparation of breaking our spirit and our Union. Be fair, we will work with you. None of us wanted to be here now. We want to have a good relationship with you. Now to the scab nurses that came from out of state. You know who you are. My thoughts are with you as you travel back to your family for the holiday. Stay safe. Think about what you did and may you have the support of nurses in your community when you need it. I know this post has nothing to do with farming, animals or homesteading. It just has to be said. Love a nurse.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.