Union Organizing in the Health Care Industry – New Unions and Alliances Among Rivals – Critical Care

Though our nation’s economy has recently lost millions of jobs, the health care industry has continued to add them. Not surprisingly, unions are eager to sign up health care workers. In the last 10 years, the rate of union wins in the health care industry has grown faster than the national average. Unions are uniting to lobby for labor-friendly legislation to promote increased union membership in the health care sector.In addition to traditional organizing, health care union organizers are using more radical corporate campaigns that target hospital donors, shareholders, community groups, and even patients. The unions push these target groups to put pressure on hospital owners to allow unions to organize their employees. Many critics have argued that some of these agreements with employers have greatly limited workers’ power and emphasized the union’s cooperation with management.The following article provides an overview of the major unions involved in the health care industry, as well as strategies to ensure your organization is prepared and remains successful.Service Employees International Union
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) began in 1921 primarily as a janitor’s union and branched out to include government, security, and health care workers. By 2000, it was the largest, fastest-growing union in the United States, with much of that growth stemming from a series of strategic mergers with smaller unions. In June 2005, the SEIU and six other unions left the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) to form the Change to Win coalition. Citing the need for a renewed effort to organize workers, Change to Win purports to be focused on achieving fair wages, health care benefits, and secure retirement for all employees. The coalition also encourages workers to unionize on an industry-wide basis, consolidating smaller unions within larger unions.SEIU Healthcare
In 2007, the SEIU announced plans to launch a new health care union to serve approximately one million members, such as nurses and service workers at hospitals and nursing homes. SEIU Healthcare combined financial and personnel resources from the 38 local SEIU Healthcare unions. Of the SEIU’s 1.9 million members, 900,000 work in health care. In September 2008, the SEIU reported it would begin several high-profile projects to bring business leaders, health care providers, community organizations, and elected officials together to work on the nation’s health care system. SEIU leaders were part of a May meeting held by President Obama to discuss a health care overhaul. More recently, SEIU members attended town hall meetings to speak out in support of the proposed health care reform. In August, the SEIU was part of a group-largely funded by the pharmaceutical industry’s lobby-that launched $12 million in television advertisements to support Obama’s health care proposal. This group, the Americans for Stable Quality Care, could spend tens of millions more this fall.SEIU and NUHW
The SEIU attempted to consolidate three local units representing home health care workers into one unit last December, taking authority away from the local units. The SEIU accused the local unit officials of financial misconduct, and in response, the leaders of the local units criticized the SEIU’s practice of centralizing power at its Washington headquarters and making corrupt deals with employers. In January, a 150,000-member SEIU local unit in Oakland was put under trusteeship by the SEIU, and the local officials of that unit were dismissed. The ousted officials formed a new union, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).The NUHW announced the first workers had cast votes in favor of representation by the new union in March. A majority of 350 union-represented workers at four nursing homes in northern California managed by North American Health Care wanted to end their labor relationship with SEIU and join the NUHW. The day after this announcement, the SEIU filed unfair labor practice charges against the four nursing homes, charging that administrators of the facilities had illegally withdrawn union recognition and colluded with a competing labor union. In that same month, a National Labor Relations Board regional director ruled against the NUHW, saying that the contract between the SEIU and the hospital chain prevented the effort by a new labor union to represent 14,000 Catholic Healthcare West workers. Despite the ruling, the founding convention to formally launch the NUHW took place in April 2009. According to the NUHW, approximately 91,000 California health care workers have signed petitions filed at the labor board, stating they would like be members of the new union.The NUHW also claims that, in response to these decertification drives, the SEIU has resorted to harassment and intimidation and tactics similar to union prevention. The SEIU argues that the new group has unfairly restrained and coerced workers, as well as complained to the National Labor Relations Board. A decisive battle between the two unions will come in 2010, when the SEIU-UHW contract with Kaiser Permanente expires and the opportunity for decertification elections reopens. Kaiser, the largest health care provider in California, has 50,000 workers that could potentially become members of NUHW.California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee
The California Nurses Association (CNA) began as a state chapter of the American Nurses Association (ANA) in 1903. The ANA has a federated structure: Nurses do not typically join the organization directly, but instead join their respective state organization, which has membership in the ANA. After several years of believing the ANA was not providing them adequate financial support to increase collective bargaining activity in California, the CNA broke ties with the ANA in 1995 and formed its own union, becoming the first state organization to secede from the ANA. Since its break from the ANA, the CNA has acquired a reputation as one of the most aggressive labor unions in the country. In 2004, the CNA began establishing itself in other states under the name National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC). The CNA voted to seek affiliation in the AFL-CIO in 2007. CNA membership has doubled over the last seven years and represents 80,000 members from all 50 states.UAN-NNOC
In February, CNA/NNOC, United American Nurses (UAN), and the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) announced the formation of another new union: the United American Nurses-National Nurses Organizing Committee (UAN-NNOC). With a combined membership of more than 150,000 affiliates in 19 states, it is the largest nursing union in the history of the United States.National Federation of Nurses
The National Federation of Nurses (NFN) was officially launched in April at an event in Portland, Oregon. The NFN represents more than 70,000 nurses in six state nurses’ associations, including New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Based on a federated model (much like the ANA), the NFN recognizes the independence of each member organization. Membership is open to state nurses’ associations and other labor organizations that represent RNs. The NFN is tied to the ANA, which outlines standards for nursing practices, but has historically opposed nurse unionism and includes managers in its leadership. Since nurse union leaders expect many of the 15 unions with nurse memberships to flood hospitals with authorization cards if the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) passes, they want to establish their own national union to ensure nurses are organized by nurses.SEIU and CNA: From Violent Disputes to Cooperative Agreements
The SEIU signed a neutrality agreement in March 2008 with an Ohio Catholic hospital to organize 8,000 workers. The day before voting was scheduled to begin, members of the CNA distributed leaflets to discourage workers from joining the SEIU. After the workers received the leaflets attacking SEIU and its arrangement with management for an election, SEIU called off the vote. Then at an April 2008 conference in Detroit, SEIU staff and members protested at a banquet of CNA members, resulting in violence. The two unions have also launched raids and counter-raids across the country, and both have sent mailings to thousands of nurses (including nurses in other unions, as well as nurses whose unions are currently trying to organize) attacking each other.After more than a year of fighting, the SEIU and CNA signed a cooperation agreement in March. They will work together to bring union representation to all non-union RNs and other health care employees, as well as improve patient care standards. The unions have also agreed to refrain from raiding each other’s members and will work together toward common goals, including lobbying for congressional passage of the EFCA. SEIU and CNA will coordinate campaigns at the largest health care systems and launch an intensive national organizing campaign. Catholic hospital chains will likely be among the first targets.In June, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the nation’s largest unions (including the SEIU and the AFL-CIO) signed an agreement describing how union organizing will be conducted at Catholic health care facilities. (The document is similar to the one Catholic Healthcare Partners and Community Mercy Health Partners created last year with the SEIU before the CNA protest canceled the vote.) This agreement is significant because Catholic health care providers represent the largest employers and providers of services in many communities. The agreement provides seven guidelines for management at Catholic health care facilities and unions, making it easier organize health care workers at these facilities.What This Means for Your Organization
Many experts agree that expanded unionization, along with the passage of the EFCA, will negatively impact our health care system. Both health care providers and industry analysts fear that unionization could mean higher costs and more restrictive work rules, adding to the soaring cost of delivering health care. Hospital and health care facilities need to be aware of these issues and how they can educate their supervisors and workers about the threat of unionization.Communication with your employees is a critical first step. Many issues are involved in the possible unionization of a health care facility (economic factors, working conditions, quality of patient care, employee satisfaction, etc.). To prepare for possible union activity, identify issues that are relevant to your facility and address those needs publicly. Train leadership and include information about your union-free policy in the employee hiring and orientation procedures. Assess your wage and benefit structure, and be sure to promote what you offer.You can use brochures, meetings, video, webinars, e-mail, Web sites, or eLearning tools to reach your employees. The most effective efforts include an employee feedback system that encourages two-way communication.

3 Must Know Dog Health Care Tips

I am going to share with you some dog health care tips that can save you hundreds of dollars just by knowing how to treat the most common dog illnesses at home. The most amazing thing about these dog health care tips is that you can treat most common dog health care concerns with things that you already have in your medicine cabinet.

Tip #1 Vitamin E pills can be used to treat most common skin ailments in your dog. This is one of the best dog health care tips because Vitamin E pills can be purchased at most any drug store and are very reasonably priced. The Vitamin E pills can either be given to your dog whole or you can pierce the coating and apply the Vitamin E oil directly to your dogs skin. This is a great way to treat your dogs dry skin and many other common skin ailments in dogs.

Tip #2 Another great dog health care tip involves the old stand by Pepto Bismol. Pepto Bismol is a great home remedy for your dogs mild case of diarrhea or an upset stomach. Of course it is always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to see what dosage is safe for your dog. If your dog is dehydrated from a bout of diarrhea or vomiting, Pedialyte can be used just as you wold for a baby.

Tip #3 Tip number 3 is one of the best dog health care tips because it is all about preventive medicine for your dog. Did you know that the live acidophilus that is found in yogurt is actually just as good for your dog as it is for you? Puppies are often susceptible to many illnesses such as a yeast infection or issues with their digestion. Yogurt will assist with your puppies digestion and keep the natural yeast found in the body to a balanced level. When purchasing yogurt for your puppy or full grown dog, it is important to get the plain white yogurt with live acidophilus.

These three dog health care tips are only a few of the many things that you can do at home to keep your dog healthy and happy. By looking at alternative health care remedies for your dog, you can save a trip to the veterinarian and promote long term health in your dog. On a closing note, it is always important to inquire with your veterinarian before using any over the counter medication for any other use than what the label states.

Critical Illness – Medical Insurance Holds The Key – Critical Care

One of the major problems of modern day life is the continuously rising prices of commodities. Today, a stage has come when one can rarely think of buying any product without carefully going through the prices. Needless to say that people today are forced to strictly live within their budget. Any sudden expense can throw the entire household out of gear. Situation becomes really tight if such an expense that cannot be overlooked suddenly raises its head. And if the expense is such that it cannot be overlooked, then the situation really becomes desperate. Illness is one such reason that can be clubbed in this category. the more critical the illness, the more precarious the situation.What makes the whole situation really heart rendering is the fact that one can find himself in such a scenario that one might not have enough money to get oneself treated. It is here that medical insurance steps in and helps people in this most trying of all times by taking care of all the expenses that one might incur on the treatment, with the concerned individual not required to pay a single penny. Needless to say that this type of help is nothing less than godsend, the worth of which increases manifold if one is grappling with a critical illness, for the expenses invariably are more in such cases.It is the help that the insurance companies render at the time of critical illness that makes them so popular amongst masses. However, to gain maximum from medical insurance, one must lay great emphasis on the contract and check whether the policy comes to life as soon as it is signed and what all the illnesses are that one is protected from. Also, one must never give any wrong information to insurance companies, for it might lead to unnecessary hassles.If these precautions are taken, then there can be no denying the fact that medical insurance will prove to be of immense use at the time of such emergencies like critical illness.

Home Care Medical Products for Those Strapped by Insurance Reform – Critical Care

With the Affordable Health Care Act on everyone’s mind and lips these days, securing and/or maintaining access to the medical products they need may not be an individual’s most pressing concern at the moment. However, such access may soon become an issue as time is running out on many a health insurance policy.Policies that do not provide standard minimums of care, as defined by the government, are being phased out. Come January, what once was considered acceptable coverage may be no more. This situation is leaving a lot of individuals in search of a replacement policy that covers everything their previous one did.In the interim what are individuals whose daily needs necessitate certain medical products that they find no longer covered to do? A provider of home care medical products is the solution to their unanticipated dilemma.Whether their needs encompass incontinence products, bariatric products, bath safety products, critical care products, wound and skin care products, ostomy products, gloves and wipes, walking aids or rollators, a home care medical products provider can ensure they encounter no interruption in access to the products they need.That’s because a home care medical products provider affords consumers access to such items from the convenience of their home computer, regardless of their medical insurance situation. Shoppers on such a site may be surprised to discover that they can buy all the major brands for themselves. That includes recognizable home care medical names like Attends incontinence products, Hollister ostomy products, Tranquility bariatric products, Drive Medical bath safety products walking aids, rollators, Convatec continence, critical care, wound and skin care, and ostomy products, and McKesson gloves and wipes.The products they will find there, in fact, are the exact same brands and quality they have been receiving all along through their physicians and insurance. And in many cases they’ll find prices comparable to what they are currently paying for their home care medical products through a doctor’s orders-and sometimes even less.A good case in point is a steel four wheel rollator with loop brake for mobility purposes, which an online provider of home medical care products can afford consumers access to for under $75. Another good example is a super pack of Attends adult briefs with waistband for dealing with continence issues. This particular home care medical product is competitively priced in line with a major discounter’s prices with direct to door delivery. That means no struggling to get to the store, fighting crowds once there, and discovering the home care medical product that brought you there is out of stock.Until the health care reform bumpy road is smoothed out, an online home care medical provider offers an affordable and viable alternative to all of an individual’s required daily health care products.

Critical Coverage – Critical Care

READ THIS REPORT BEFORE YOU DECIDE ON YOUR COVERAGE LIMITS!Critical Coverage EVERY Family Should Have for Teen DriversProtect Your Family’s Financial Future NOW!There are probably all kinds of thoughts going through your mind during this period of parenthood. Your innocent young child has reached a milestone in life that brings a new freedom they have never experienced before.Your child’s dependence on you has just been reduced tremendously. You can only hope that all your guidance will be enough to help him or her go out into the world responsibly and remain safe.There is one more responsibility you have that cannot be taken lightly. Your Family’s entire future depends on how you protect it. More specifically, your family’s “Financial Future” must be protected and you are about to learn how to do it- and do it right.Teen Drivers are 5 times more likely to get into a car accident than an experienced driver and an accident from a Teen Driver cost insurance companies 3 times more than an experienced driver.That means- now that you have a young, inexperienced driver in your household, the likelihood of you being involved in a lawsuit has just skyrocketed.In my community, almost every Monday morning when I read the newspaper, there is a story about a teenager getting killed in an accident or killing someone else. At the time I am writing this report, there were 2 such stories of teen-related fatal accidents in my paper this morning.The first accident involved an 18 year old that was beginning his senior year. He was a junior firefighter who was just promoted to the team at his 18th birthday just a month ago. He was speeding (65 in a 45), lost control of his car, went into a ditch, rolled his car and was killed instantly. (By the way, he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt.)As tragic as this story is, the only blessing was no one else was involved. No one else was killed or injured and there won’t be a lawsuit.The second story involved three teenagers out having a good time Saturday night. The 18 year driver had been drinking and using a prescription drug called “Xanax”. He lost control of the car and ran off the road into an embankment. His 18 year old girlfriend was killed. Her younger sister and the driver survived the accident with minor injuries.He was charged with DWI, reckless driving, and other charges are pending. Most likely, manslaughter will be added.I am writing this report the 1st day of a new school year and these same stories happen all over our country, especially this time of year. I am sure you are hearing the same in your home town.Speeding and alcohol combined with an inexperienced driver is like throwing a can of gasoline on a fire. Things get out of control and explode. Property gets damaged. People get hurt and some even killed.You may think your child is responsible and would never be involved with something this tragic. You may be right, but your child doesn’t have to be irresponsible to cause a tragic accidentWhen you get down to the root of why so many teenagers cause accidents, the core reason is that they just don’t have the experience yet.I can tell you many other stories of responsible young drivers that cause accidents without even being negligent.Stories where alcohol, speeding or careless behavior was never involved. They were caused because teen drivers simply don’t have the experience to control their vehicles when they get into a sticky situation.The reason why I am sharing these stories and examples of what can happen is because I have seen it happen and seen it happen too often during my years in this business. And I don’t want it to happen to you- just because no other insurance agent shared this with you.What happens when your teen driver causes a serious accident?The number of million dollar plus lawsuits are on the rise. They are the result of serious injuries and wrongful death car accidents.If someone is paralyzed in a car accident, how much will it cost to care for them for the rest of their life? What if someone (or more than one person) is killed? How do you put a price on someone’s life?You don’t. The courts will.Are you prepared to handle a lawsuit for a million or more dollars right now? Do you have enough assets to pay for it? Are you prepared to pay a portion out of every paycheck you make for years to come? Or… are your insurance limits high enough right now?I want you to know that I truly believe in insurance and how it can save a family from a devastating lawsuit. Some years ago, when I was just a rookie in this business, I learned just how important quality protection is.True Story- A client of mine picked up her 10 year old son and his friend from school. She was driving down the street when a dog shot out in front of the car. She swerved and hit a telephone pole. Her son’s friend was permanently paralyzed from the waste down in the accident.That poor 10 year old was forced to spend the rest of his life in a wheel chair. We knew a lawsuit was coming and fortunately, my client was well covered. These folks had a lot of assets that could be taken from them in a lawsuit. They also knew how important quality insurance protection was.Their car insurance policy had high bodily injury limits and they were wise enough to take our advice and get a million dollar liability umbrella for the worst case. The claim totaled $875,000- much less than expected and probably not enough to provide long term care for the little boy.That was over 9 years ago and similar lawsuits today are much higher.So, how can you protect yourself for the worst case? Here are some suggestions:Have your insurance reviewed by an expert that understands family protection, especially one that knows how teen drivers should be protected. Here are some of the points a good family protection specialist will recommend:

Make sure your car insurance limits for bodily injury are the highest your state allows. (Minimum $250,000 per person, $500,000 per accident)

Make sure your Uninsured Motorists and Underinsured Motorists limits are high too. (Minimum $250,000 per person, $500,000 per accident)

Get a Personal Liability Umbrella. A million dollar umbrella is probably enough for most families, but if you own an expensive home or have a high paying career, I’d recommend at least a 2 million dollar umbrella.
You will be surprised that the cost of making these changes won’t make much difference in what you pay for your insurance. In fact, many people end up getting all of this coverage and still save money!How?Many insurance agents understand how to protect “responsible” families at the lowest cost. The rates are lower for “responsible” families and they help their customers reduce the likelihood of an accident which leads to claims.This allows the insurance company to keep your rates down but still offer high quality protection. So, you buy your insurance at a reduced rate and increase your coverage! Make sense?Congratulations on taking the first critical step to protecting your family’s future. Don’t delay on taking that second step. Call your agent today. Every day that goes by leaves a window of opportunity for a tragedy. Get protected today!Wishing you and your family great health, happiness and prosperity!Erik WellsErik Wells All American Agencies505-896-7660

ICU Nurse Job Description – Close Observation and Extra Care – Critical Care

Part of TeamUsually the ICU nurses would be part of a specialized team in the hospital or clinic that takes care of the patient who are in critical or near fatal conditions. Only highly experienced and proficient registered nurses are made part of the special team as nurses.Nurse FunctionsBasic functions carried out by the ICU nurses are -• Providing adequate care to the patient;• Keeping them under close observation all through;• Educating and supporting the patient’s family on the care of the patient;• Providing directions and guidance to the licensed practical nurses;• Providing guidance and directions to the nursing assistants in the unit.ICU Nursing Job FeaturesMain job of the ICU registered nurses is to provide life support equipments like ventilators as well as the feeding tubes that would function properly supporting the life of the patient. In the process they also observe closely the heart beats, blood pressures and respiratory signals of distress in the patients. Administering IVs, providing medications as well as inserting catheters etc are also the part of their job.Job RequirementsFor being eligible for the job of the ICU nursing, either a two years associate degree, a three year hospital training diploma, or a four year bachelors degree are the basic qualifications. Becoming registered ICU nurse requires passing out the written examination for the certification.ICU Registered Nurse CertificationsCertification for the ICU nursing career requires voluntary certification as one of the Critical Care Registered Nurses or CCRN from American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Specific amount of clinical practice hours in nursing and passing out a special examination in writing, are requirements for the certification.Compensations in the JobICU nurse job description won’t be complete without a reference to the career prospects and compensations. By the end of 2009, registered ICU nurses were drawing around $73,000 on average annually in United States. It is also advisable making career search at some comprehensive and informative career websites online to get the accurate information.

Critical Essays – Critical Care

Critical essays are usually review essays that look in detail at some literary work. Critical essays may be positive or negative in tone, depending on the attitude of the writer towards the work analyzed. It is necessary to have in-depth knowledge about the author studied, his works and the corpus of criticism that has already appeared.Critical essays should have the same structure as that of any other essay. The introduction of the critical essay should introduce the title, author and the nature of the work under analysis. The introduction should also codify the strengths and weaknesses of the work, with focus on one or two major features.The second section of the critical essay should carry a brief summary of the work analyzed. The summary section will also touch upon the author’s presentation of the theme and his viewpoints. The next important thing to remember is to highlight the aspects one will touch upon.The third section of the critical essay should contain the main argument – one can agree with or differ from the author’s or other critics’ viewpoints. This section should contain detailed analysis of the topic discussed. Care is to be taken to quote relevant material from the text to support one’s argument. One can also borrow supporting evidence from other writers, acknowledging them. Citations must be included in the prescribed style format.The last section is the conclusion, which briefly summarizes the main points raised. The conclusion should be written clearly so that it crisply highlights the essay writer’s views on the subject. Critical essays gain an impressive look if the last sentence is one that can capture the reader’s attention, provoking him to think further on another angle of the subject.

Respiratory Care Degree With Clinical Practice Emphasis – Critical Care

If you’re looking for a college major that can lead to a personally and professionally rewarding career, then a good option is a respiratory care degree.This program is ideally suited for individuals who have the drive to help others in their time of need; respond well to emergency situations; have a calm head on their shoulders; are compassionate and patient human beings; demonstrate excellent communication skills; and like working with technology.But what is it exactly that respiratory care practitioners or respiratory therapists (RTs) do on a day-to-day basis?The job of an RT is to evaluate, treat, and care for patients who have breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. They work alongside doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners to discharge a variety of duties that may include:Diagnosing patients with lung and breathing disorders
Recommending and providing appropriate treatment
Providing emergency care to patients who have had heart attacks, strokes, etc.
Interviewing patients and conducting physical examinations
Educating patients on how to use breathing aids properly
Assessing and maintaining medical equipment
Performing rehabilitative therapies on patientsSome respiratory therapists may get involved in specialized roles that involve smoking cessation counseling, disease prevention, case management, and diagnosing breathing disorders during sleep such as sleep apnea.Education and Advancement An associate’s in respiratory care program is the minimum requirement for entry into this profession. Such programs are offered at colleges, universities, trade schools, and medical schools.All the U.S. states except Alaska and Hawaii require respiratory care practitioners to be licensed. The National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) offers two credentials to RTs who meet specific requirements:Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT): Conferred on RTs who graduate from an entry-level or advanced program and pass an examination.
Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT): Awarded to RTs who graduate from advanced programs and pass two separate examinations.Even though it’s possible to secure entry-level RT roles with an associate’s degree, a Bachelor’s in Respiratory Care is generally considered the gateway to professional advancement. Many of these Bachelor’s in Respiratory Care programs are completion programs that are designed specifically for practicing RTs who want to go back to school for career advancement.Such degree programs, along with experience, help RTs advance from general care to critical care. Some respiratory therapists move into supervisory or management positions in the respiratory therapy department of a hospital after graduating from advanced respiratory care programs.These programs look to build on the existing theoretical knowledge and clinical experience of RTs by covering advanced courses in patient assessment, cardiopulmonary diagnostics, cardiopulmonary pathology, neonatal-pediatric pathology, case management, etc.In addition to an advanced respiratory care degree and experience, supervisory and critical care positions usually require respiratory therapists to have the RRT license.Job Outlook Thanks to the growing number of baby boomers who are reaching retirement age and the susceptibility of elderly folk to cardiopulmonary disorders, the demand for licensed and qualified respiratory therapists is on the rise.If you want to seize the opportunity to pursue a career in a growing and exciting healthcare field, now’s the time to enroll in this program that can set you off on that path. The median salary of a qualified respiratory care therapist, depending on location and education, is $55,200*.The possibility of great money, challenging work, and bright career prospects, and the personal gratification of having helped people in need-respiratory therapy has got all the ingredients of a fabulous profession.Sources:* bls.gov/oes/current/oes291126.htm