Hospital Greed Is Destroying Our Nurses. Here’s Why. | NYT Opinion

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We’re entering our third year of Covid, and America’s nurses — who we celebrated as heroes during the early days of lockdown — are now leaving the bedside. The pandemic arrived with many people having great hope for reform on many fronts, including the nursing industry, but much of that optimism seems to have faded.

In the Opinion Video above, nurses set the record straight about the root cause of the nursing crisis: chronic understaffing by profit-driven hospitals that predates the pandemic. “I could no longer work in critical care under the conditions I was being forced to work under with poor staffing,” explains one nurse, “and that’s when I left.” They also tear down the common misconception that there’s a shortage of nurses. In fact, there are more qualified nurses today in America than ever before.

To keep patients safe and protect our health care workers, lawmakers could regulate nurse-patient ratios, which California put in place in 2004, with positive results. Similar legislation was proposed and defeated in Massachusetts several years ago (with help from a $25 million “no” campaign funded by the hospital lobby), but it is currently on the table in Illinois and Pennsylvania. These laws could save patient lives and create a more just work environment for a vulnerable generation of nurses, the ones we pledged to honor and protect at the start of the pandemic.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.

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  1. Hi, I'm Lucy, a producer with Opinion Video. When I first started hearing about a nursing shortage, I thought that I understood why that was happening: Burned-out nurses were finally succumbing to exhaustion after a two-year battle with the virus. But after reaching out to over 50 nurses I learned I was wrong. In reality Covid had just exacerbated a problem that existed long before the pandemic. in our video, five of the nurses I spoke with explain in their own words how corporate greed has created a critical shortage of bedside nurses, and what can be done to solve this crisis. I'd love to know what you thought of our film, and answer questions about how we reported and produced it. Leave your comments below

  2. Long before the pandemic my granny worked in one of the biggest hospitalls In Florida on a medical surgical unit. I remember her coming home mentally and physical exhausted. She had between 12 to 15 patients assigned to her. Often without the help of an PCA. She had to give meds , do treatments , keep the patients clean and comfortable. An impossible situation. Young nurses fresh out of school left after a short time unable to handle the workload.
    The Hospitals . care about profit. Not about patients ore employees..

  3. The reason nurses are leaving is the corporate greed surrounding health care. I've been an RN for nearly 40 yrs. I'm embarrassed sometimes to even say I'm a nurse. If I went back to bedside nursing I'd be making THE SAME as I did 25 yrs ago, and I have a Masters degree in Nursing. When I was a patient I was charged $800 just to administer a medication to me. In all a $2300 charge for 4 meds. This is insane.
    I'm terrified by the poor way nurses are being taught today. To look back and realize they're making the same as 20 yrs ago is insane while the patients are sicker and discharged before they're truly ready. This just causes them to bounce back in 24-48 hrs. It's a shame.

  4. Great video. I had a Covid ICU patient on a ventilator and in a roto-prone bed. Their lungs were liquified. I was in that room for over 13 hours without a break. The PAPR helmet partially ripped off my ear – and I didn't know it until after my shift. I've been in the ICU and in the boardroom. They guilt the nurses into working beyond their limits to maximize profits and then blame the nursing leaders when something goes bad.

  5. Sharnette said it all at 04:14. Administrators just want their bonuses. The MHA programs teach their graduates that they know more about healthcare than doctors and nurses.

  6. I was in the hospital recently for a routine outpatient surgery. Barely made it out alive after 6 days. I felt bad for the nurses that were hog tied by bad protocols and Dr decisions keeping me there to rack up my insurance. People need to know how dangerous these greedy businesses have become!!!!
    The pay isn’t worth your mental health. I’m sure these workers have/develop PTSD.

  7. Hospital make bank off of poor ppl and pushing nurses to the breaking point with poor pay and those patients that are dying have no choice to pay a lot of money if they get care for or not

  8. And this is why I will continue to expose, compromise and share the personally identifiable information of as many rich people and their families as possible. I have massive amounts of personally identifiable information in several Microsoft word documents. Each time I come across scammers and spammers on facebook, I accidentally copy a huge chunk of this data and then send it to the scammer in a personal message. And I'm not above sharing this information with people who I suspect are traffickers and predators either.

    Maybe if rich people start becoming the number one targets of scammers, online bullying, humiliation tactics, blackmail tactics, compromised data and other cyber activities, these rich people will start understanding that they are not wanted in the world. Let's make rich people lose millions and put them at much higher risk of falling victim to online crimes and other 'controversial activities'.

    I have personally compromised the information of nearly 5,000 rich people in the US.

  9. This is why unions for nurses are important. Our ceo can get a 15% raise, while those on the front line get a fifth of that (3%). If nursing was a male dominated position, we would not be in this situation. The system is Broken As Intended, and dangerous nurse staffing ratios are part of that.

  10. There’s people who are criminals that want to change their life and become nurses. But the system doesn’t work that way.

  11. Let me be clear here, if you are ROUTINELY tripling your nurses in the ICU or assigning 1 nurse for 6-8 patients in the acute care/floor setting YOU ARE NOT STAFFED!! Those instances should be an ABSOLUTE RARITY and NOT AN EXPECTATION. This is inhumane to both the nurses and their patients and is UNTENABLE!!

  12. "nurses aren't in the budget"…I head this exact line from my boss today, and proceeded to list off all the frivolous positions (like a team of personal assistants for executives) they have just hired, and the frivolous expenses they made over the past week alone. I then flat out told him "its not that you don't have the budget, its because you don't WANT to do it"

  13. My sister ris a traveling nurse and I feel so sad, angry and helpless as she explains her day to day. She works 12 hour days and doesn't even get a break. It's disgusting.

  14. I am about to start teaching as a nursing professor and this video is so true to my experience…I would love for any ideas on how to bring change to help motivate the next generation of nurses

  15. Nursing sucked long before shortage just greedy admins who want money to buy a new boat with and cut the expense of RNS working on floors…Do you know how much they save by hiring one RN rather than the needed 4….do the math.

  16. The crazy thing with long-term care facilities like nursing homes and hospitals is that corporate often says things like if everybody didn’t call in we would be fully staffed. The problem with this is that they’re not really fully staffed to begin with and they have workers that eventually get tired or burnt out or just done with the conditions they have to work in but staffing takes a lot of money and I feel like a lot of corporate people don’t wanna spend the money, so they say that they are within the staffing ratio that is needed and they truly are not. You can’t tell me that you can walk into any nursing home and find them fully staffed or overstaffed and you can’t tell me that any nursing home wouldn’t appreciate having more staff on the floor to help with the patient care. They just don’t want to pay for it.

  17. Instead the rulers send collected tax money to Ukraine – now the boomers are moving from their houses to nursing homes by the thousands – is the level of care in those facilities adequate?

  18. Yet no videos on doctors who are paying ultimate price and doctors have high suicide rates than any other profession.

  19. The accuracy of this video. I am already working on my 5 year exit plan. I can't be the nurse I want to be so I would rather not be there anymore.

  20. Some ppl do respect nurses, doctors, medical staff. I've heard stories of patients that are physically abusive to their nurses, which is horrible!
    I've also watched videos of hospital mistakes from Healthcare workers.
    I'm to the point I don't want to be placed in a hospital for care at all.
    I went thru this with my partner being in hospital that the nurses did quite a few ignorant things. If I hadn't been there, my partner wouldn't have been alive today. They had basically given him up to die. It took 20 minutes to get any help when needed. This was in ICU! He was about to be overdosed on meds too on two different days if I had not been there to tell them he had already been given his doses. So, If you're able to stay in hospital with your loved one, do so. Watch closely.
    I do feel nurses get overwhelmed and tired but in ICU, I always thought they were to monitor the patients closely thru out the day. I will never forget the horrific ordeal we went thru. My partner is alive because of prayer, me being able to stay with him from Nov.2019 until he left Dec 2019. He went to Siskin Inpatient to learn to talk, walk, and I had to learn how to feed him thru his PEG tube for a little while until it was able to be removed. Awesome facility! He's still having issues and has had to go thru physical therapy on and off since 2019. He's a fighter and confident he's going to return to work soon.
    We had to sell off some things we have to make it and had some help from some friends and a few family members. We will never forget their love, kindness and compassion.

  21. The problem is for-profit hospitals and Healthcare that are allowing nurses to have more patients than they could care for

  22. Hi. Iam a cna and the same thing is happening in nursing homes i want to quit i dont know how much i can take we are always short the amount of patients to one cna is ridiculous

  23. They all deserve it they are all incompetent I’ve been waiting theee months in pain no help guck the medical care system

  24. All the BS Fit to Print. Don't believe it? Solution to that is quite simple: email the author of any NY Times article and request the source material for said article. Chances are you won't receive it. And for gods sake, stop believing everything the NY Times writes and begin questioning them.

  25. I will never forget during my orientation at my first nursing job out of school the administrator said “nurses are our biggest expense”. Hospitals look at nurses as an “expense” that’s what we are to them. What is a hospital without its nurses? I would like to see them go a day with no nurses… an hour… how about just 15 minutes with no nurses.

  26. I once had to take down a psych patient who covered himself in poop and attacked the charge nurse. Thank God for gloves and gowns and him slipping on his own poop. Had to take down a meth head who ran into the pedi dept before he went schizo on the kids. And these reasons aren't even the ones why I'm not practicing as an RN….

  27. If it's cause was just the idiotic people in the world, Why did it go over to the under estimated decision by a reckless individual? That answer is probably loaded to say the least but, understanding the reason is not really a concern as of this point in time. Carefully gathering simple evidence over time is what will be needed for this mysterious list to about to appear,. It is very important and will become widely known for current and generations to come, it will be as of epic proportions of widespread misunderstanding and careless handling with their denial that is proved slanderous.

  28. Under those conditions and underpaid- I’m fighting for our salary- nurses being capped- nurses being offered $25/ hr when Target offering $20😡😡

  29. Covid made people make better career choices like me Work in the pandémic in a hospital as a nursr, change Job and never going back and having better health

  30. I have been in healthcare for over 30 years; medical assistant, LPN and an RN for over 20 years. I have applied to the post office.

  31. I am so ready to leave the caregiving industry myself in Crown Point, Indiana! As a currently unemployed Home Health Aide in the state of Indiana, and Former Certified Nursing Assistant for the states of Illinois and Indiana, I support legislation that improves RN and Patient relationships. They matter. HCP's worldwide are overwhelmed! I thank the New York Times on behalf of the mentally ill community for reporting on this timely topic and am grateful to hear of the successes celebrated in some states!

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