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Great care despite union disruption

By NICOLE PORTER

Publication: The Day

Published December 09. 2013 4:00AM

Members of the Lawrence + Memorial Hospital Nursing Leadership Team work hard every day to ensure the well being of both the patients and the employees at our hospital. Throughout our careers, both as staff nurses as well as in leadership, we have all made and continue to make our patients, their care and their recovery our top priority. We are nurses because it is our calling, and we are happy that L+M provides a safe, professional environment in which we can answer that calling and help people.

Unfortunately, we can no longer sit by silently while the care of our patients is questioned by the striking RN/LPN/Tech union leadership.

You may have heard union leaders level charges against the hospital and make attacks against the staff who continue to care for L+M's patients. What you have not heard about are the unprofessional behaviors by union protestors that are occurring every day towards patients, visitors, and those of us who are in the hospital caring for your friends and loved ones.

Drums beating outside that keep patients awake.

Loud shouting through bullhorns at all hours.

Union protestors taunting, intimidating and threatening our visitors and colleagues.

Swearing and other disruptive behavior aimed at employees and visitors coming into the hospital.

Staff members being warned by union leaders that they will experience an "unpleasant work environment" if they cross the picket line.

These reprehensible tactics may be intended to intimidate our staff; unfortunately, they also create a stressful situation for our patients and visitors.

If there is a silver lining in this experience, it is that we now have a new appreciation for what we have in this hospital. We have been working side by side with amazing nurses and techs who are caring for and protecting our patients during this time and we are eternally grateful for them. We are also learning about innovative treatments in use across the country that can help us improve the care L+M provides. We continue to have our focus on our patients and their cherished family and friends, whom we hold in the highest regard.

We are proud of our years of combined service to L+M and its patients. Nurses take an oath to practice our profession faithfully and devote ourselves to the welfare of those in our care. The wonderful professionals who remain at L+M Hospital are fulfilling their oaths each and every day on our units, and our patients tell us about the outstanding care they are receiving. We hope for a quick resolution and support our senior leadership team because we are 100 percent confident they have our patients and our staff members' best interest in mind.

When our regular staff return, we will continue the healing process and will be an even better hospital because of what we have been through.

Nicole Porter, RN, is Emergency Department nurse manager. Also contributing to this commentary were Patrica Egan, Cathy Grant, Cari Gutelius, Jeni Jarbeau, Theresa Lalonde, Nicole Porter and Melissa Swan, all nurse managers and RNs.

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