Category Archives: Health Care Workers

Recovery Act Funding for Community Health Centers

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009

Nearly $3 billion in Recovery Act funding will support the expansion, improvement, and renovation of community health centers and other programs that serve patients in communities across the country to better serve the nation’s most vulnerable families.

Community Health Centers providing affordable health care, even if you have no health insurance.
– See All Community Health Center Recovery Act Funding by State and Grantee

Technology Push in Hospitals Puts Stress on Workers

Source: Mischa Gaus, Labor Notes, no. 364, July 2009

Big Bother Comes in for a Check-Up

Beyond the whiz-bang applications that will smooth record-taking and make the hospital safer lie more familiar reasons why Shands is spending up to $7 million installing a high-tech backbone in its newest facility.

The sensors can also track the location of each IV stand – and every hospital worker, whose badges will include a tag that registers their location.

Hospitals could also use the technology to defeat organizing drives by identifying union supporters.

New Studies Show Nursing Workforce Critical to Success of Health Reform

Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Press Release, June 12, 2009

Health Affairs today unveiled a series of six studies examining the nursing workforce in the context of health reform. The papers were released at a forum presented by Health Affairs and the Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA) that featured a lively discussion among policy-makers, nursing leaders and researchers, and health reform experts. The Center is a joint initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The papers released today include:

Education Policy Initiatives to Address the Nurse Shortage
Linda H. Aiken, Robyn B. Cheung and Danielle M. Olds

The Recent Surge in Nurse Employment: Causes and Implications

Peter I. Buerhaus, David I. Auerbach and Douglas O. Staiger

Expanding the Capacity of Nursing Education
Brenda L. Cleary, Angela Barron McBride, Margaret L. McClure and Susan C. Reinhard

Addressing the Nursing Workforce: A Critical Element for Health Reform
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey and John Rother

Nursing: A Key to Patient Satisfaction
Ann Kutney Lee, Matthew D. McHugh, Douglas M. Sloane, Jeannie P. Cimiotti, Linda Flynn, Donna Felber Neff and Linda H. Aiken

The Role of Nurses in Improved Hospital Quality and Efficiency: Real-World Results
Jack Needleman and Susan Hassmiller

Institutional Obstacles To RN Unionization: How “Vote No” Thinking Is Deeply Embedded In The Nursing Profession

Source: Suzanne Gordon, WorkingUSA, Volume 12 Issue 2, June 2009
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The essay examines private sector unionization in the U.S., arguing that elections for representation frequently are unfairly unbalanced against supporters of union representation. Given that hospital administrators typically harbor an antiunion bias, with few exceptions, representation elections are permeated with employer propaganda to ensure their institutions remain nonunion. Passage of the Employee Free Choice Act would significantly improve the capacity of nurses to organize unions of their choice through card check rules, while reducing the hospital management “vote-no” campaigns that are highly unfavorable toward labor organizing. Unionization is a means to significantly improve conditions for nurses, who are the principle “guardians of the sick.”

Comprehensive Workplace Health and Safety Programs are Needed in Health Care

Source: Craig Slatin, NEW SOLUTIONS: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, Volume 19, Number 1, 2009
(subscription required)

Cost control has become a battle cry for health care–and it is being fulfilled on the backs of health care workers–literally. As health care labor costs are cut, health care work has been intensified. Health care workers are being made to “do more with less.” Increasingly, direct care and ancillary support are provided by low wage and inadequately trained personnel. Skilled tasks that were formerly performed by licensed professional workers (nurses) are being shifted to nonlicensed and inadequately trained personnel (aides/assistants).

Respecting the Just Rights of Workers: Guidance and Options for Catholic Health Care and Unions

Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2009

From the press release:
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), along with leaders from Catholic health care and the labor movement, released “guidance and options” for creating a fair process for health care workers to decide whether or not to form a union. Outlined in a new document entitled Respecting the Just Rights of Workers: Guidance and Options for Catholic Health Care and Unions, the principles reflect a unique and ground-breaking consensus between Catholic health care employers and unions and are the result of a dialogue that began more than a decade ago.