Nov. 23rd, 2011

dragonflymuse: (Default)
Wow, I completely suck at updating this journal. Recently I tried to re-enter LJ life and wanted to at least check in once a day, but failed completely.


But for the recent past, I am full of excuses for being kept away!

Out of the blue, in mid-October, I found out the President of my union local received a job at the Provincial office. Yay for her, because not only was she instrumental in getting this job created, but it was in an area of union work she is very keen on pursuing.

So what, you say? What does that have to do with you?

I was her Vice President.

I was faced with a surprise promotion to President during one of the most turbulent times facing our local and provincial members in quite a while. For reasons I will go into in a later post, the Union and Employer agreed on a standard uniform for RNs and LPNs to help with our visibility and identification in our health care institutions. With a plethora of allied health care workers and trade workers wearing scrubs in the health care centres, patients, families and the public in general are having a hard time figuring out who is a nurse. As such, patients and families are revealing information to ward aides or house keeping staff that should be confidential about themselves, asking the wrong workers to do nursing functions and, most worrisome, identifying as nurses, anyone in scrubs whom they feel left themselves or their loved ones in pain or in need of attention. Nursing is taking the hit in public opinion for things that they are not guilty of nor what they have control over, like the ease of identification of allied care staff or trade workers.

After over a year of active discussion (and first bringing up the subject almost five years ago) standard uniforms was an article added to our recent Collective Agreement. A poll of members - well, those who bothered to vote and pay attention to all the notices and education on the subject - resulted in a standard uniform consisting of a white top and black bottom. There will be about five different styles of tops for members to choose from, as well as different styles of pants and even a skirt option, for there are some RNs in my institution who still wear dress-style uniforms (I believe one nurse might even still wear a cap).

Those who disagreed with this motion have been vocal, immature and down-right nasty about the whole thing. Granted, I work in a paediatric institution, so instead of saying they 'just don't wanna' wear the black and white, nurses are going on ad nauseum about the impact of colours on paediatric care outcomes, comfort and connectivity with their nurse. They are providing reams of research reports - many of which are flawed or outright contradicted by other research studies - that support this argument and feel this should be their reason for absolute exemption from the policy (we will forget for the moment that the most comprehensive research in neonatal and infant development support stark contrasts to stimulate cognitive growth, and that all of the developmental stimuli provided in NICU are black and white images of faces, shapes and patterns).

So that has been my life for the past four weeks. The level of childishness and personal attacks by some members (many being my own co-workers) has made it difficult to even check in on Facebook (where some of my long-distance friends have accounts) without seeing passive-aggressive comments and status updates on the subject.

On the flip side, things in general life have been ok. We are experiencing our first real snowfall of the year right now! I am not thrilled, and I doubt my California rescue Chi will embrace the cold lifestyle, but my Lab is extremely excited at the prospect of gallivanting in the park. Sadly, there are city workers in the park right now, and since it is not an off-leash area, I have to wait for them to leave before I can sneak him over and let him run free. And on Saturday, 'Santa' will be at our vet's office, sitting for pictures, proceeds going to the SPCA. Of the four of them, Faith and maybe Sam will be most cooperative for pictures. Simon is still very stranger-apprehensive, and Wesley has no patience for people he does not know.

So, what is new in everyone's world?

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dragonflymuse

July 2012

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