“Are You Listening?” - RN Kim Fletcher Kornowski Uses Facebook To Publicly Expose What She Faces Working At A Buffalo Hospital: “(It’s) The Worst I Have Ever Seen Working There. The Community Needs To Know Our Plight.”
WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: The other day I ran across a post from Kim Fletcher Kornowski (pictured above), the Assistant Vice President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1168 and a Medical/Surgical Registered Nurse (RN) at Kaleida Health in Buffalo. While her CWA Brothers and Sisters are walking a picket line at the Catholic Health System’s Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo after striking for safe staffing, better patient care and fair contract, Kornowski continues to work as a Nurse at the Kaleida Health System’s Suburban Millard Fillmore Hospital. She posted the following Are You Listening? on her Facebook page to expose to the public what she faces working at the medical facility. Her words are both powerful and frightening. Her hope is that those who read this - “leaders who will listen” - will do something about it. Your On-Line Labor Newspaper hopes our leaders will listen too.
About last night - I was 1 of 4 Nurses for 31 patients! There was 1 PCA (Nurses’ Aide) for 31 patients!
About last night - We received 6 new admissions from the emergency department. What does that mean? That means a new patient came in the emergency department and was sick enough to be admitted. That means they were new, so medications history’s needed to be checked, medical histories had to be checked, education on their plan of care had to be given, consults had to be called for specialists, families needed updating, and many needed units of blood immediately, medications had to be given immediately - and we take care of the six patients we already had. These items take time to give the care patients deserve.
About last night - We had (only) one Nurse call in – ONE, that left us in such poor shape staffing-wise. That should not be the case in a hospital system, but I bring it up because they blame the Employees for their staffing issues. Yet, the very grids they are supposed to follow are ignored - all for the almighty dollar. They have made it OK to work us to the bone with bare bones.
About last night - Bonus calls and overtime calls were made. One of the four Nurses that was there on OT to help because it was so bad. So really we had 3 Nurses. THREE Nurses and one PCA for 31 patients! We don’t want more money, we want more bodies to help us care for our patients.
About last night - There was a supervisor on that when called helped when she could. ONE supervisor for the whole building and we were not alone being short. Kaleida has a huge management team, yet on nights we never see them. We are asked to deal with it but management never does. “Deal with it” - meaning do more work with less people.
About last night - I thought about the years I have given to the company and how in the last year and a half have been the worst I have ever seen working there. I worry I’ll make a mistake, causing harm or missing a piece of charting that my employer will discipline me on because I’m just a dime in a dozen. I left late this morning because I needed to finish my work and tried to help the oncoming Nurse as well because they had five Nurses for day shift so they were short as well.
I love my profession and I don’t understand why this is OK.
The community needs to know our plight.
My family and friends need to understand why I may look like I got hit by a truck.
We need leaders who listen, create change, walk in our shoes and help.
Lead by example.
Until then I will not be silent.
My patients count on me.
To all my Co-Workers, not just RNs, housekeeping, operators, respiratory - I don’t know how we got here, but we are the ones who need to demand change because this will continue if we are silent.
If you are still with me, I know this long but my frustration is at an all-time high.
I just want someone to listen.
So my question is - are you listening?
If you are, Thank You because sometimes we all just need someone to listen.