This coverage sponsored by the SEIU.
I want you to meet Chris Moore. Universal Health Services has locked out SEIU nurses at Desert
Spring and Valley Hospitals in Las Vegas. He is one of those nurses. I began reporting on this story this morning.
Today I had a chat with Chris on my radio show. He's been all over
the news today. He's a popular guy. No wonder. His passion is his patients.
He simply loves nursing. It is his life. But not just his life, because his wife is an ER nurse.
Vegas Nurses Locked Out: Interview-Chris Moore – Part I
Chris's part starts about half-way through the above link.
All the SEIU nurses at Universal Health Services in Las Vegas want is to be able to care for
their patients the best way they can.
Today, local Las Vegas news estimated that over 1000 Valley Hospital employees
gathered before it all began. Universal met the normal shift change with a lock
out and temporary nurses gathered from across the country to take their places.
Karen Kinimaka, Valley Hospital ICU nurse, said, \”We're trying
to get better staffing ratios. That's what we're here for. We're trying to
take care of our patients.\” - Nurses
Off The Job at Two Las Vegas Hospitals
Late this afternoon, SEIU filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board
on behalf of their nurses at Desert Spring and Valley Hospitals.
Take a listen to Chris Moore. You'll hear the passion in his voice. These Valley
Hospital nurses want what's best for their patients. It's not about money. It's
about caring for sick people.
Universal Health Services seems to want to spread nurses out so they don't
have to hire the nurses needed to properly staff their hospitals. UHS also wants
to be able to force overtime, as well as float nurses to areas where they have
little or no expertise.
During my interview with Chris Moore, he mentioned his heroine: Florence Nightingale.
The 'Lady-in-Chief', as Florence was called, wrote home on behalf of the
soldiers. She acted as a banker, sending the men's wages home to their families,
and introduced reading rooms to the hospital. In return she gained the undying
respect of the British soldiers. The introduction of female nurses to the
military hospitals was an outstanding success, and to show the nation's gratitude
for Florence Nightingale's hard work a public subscription was organised in
November 1855. The money collected was to enable Florence Nightingale to continue
her reform of nursing in the civil hospitals of Britain.
We are going to support these 21st Century Florence Nightingales. We are going
to help Chris and the other locked out SEIU nurses, but not just for them. This
is about their patients. It's about caring for people at their most vulnerable moment in life. Some day that person could be you or someone in your family.
If understaffing by Universal Health Services can happen here, what makes you think it can't happen where you live?
UPDATE (7:07 p.m.): Matt Stoller has a great post on the Las Vegas lock out. Make sure you read it.