Along with the major stress caused on hospitals for the last twenty months caused by the pandemic, another problem that has originated is that the conflict of labors and the huge number of staff resignations has left people to wait longer to receive care and treatment.
The hospitals are facing unrest at a critical moment in times of the pandemic, and this is caused due to the months of marathon shifts, receiving verbal and physical abuse from patients and the public, ceaseless complaints about being low-paid, and having staff shortages.
Health Care Workers Participate In Strikes And Walkouts
According to data from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labour Relations, a minimum of thirty strikes have taken place by the health care workers in the last year alone.
Also, half a million health workers have resigned from their posts in August, and that is the most people to have quit in a single month in more than twenty years.
The hospitals are facing the phase of resignations and strikes hit in the worst time of all, because people are still dealing with the Delta variant, with a hoard of ill patients who postponed care last year, and many states are preparing themselves to be ready for the surge of the coronavirus during the colder months as it is also the season when the flu takes over the nation.
The labor issues have also come into play when it is essential to rely on the traveling nurses in the regions that have been severely hit by the Delta variant.
The situation is getting severe as the frustration of people is slowly changing and taking the shape of organized walkouts throughout the country. From Kaiser Permanente situated on the west coast to Catholic Health in Buffalo, New York, thousands of workers are performing in the strikes in some of the largest health systems of the nation. Even on Monday, around two hundred fifty nurses voted to go on strike in Chicago’s Community First Medical Center.
POLITICO contacted many hospitals employees and they stated that all the healthcare workers have started to think that they have gone from being “heroes to zeroes” in the public eyes and this has made it difficult for them to handle all the underlying stress and pressure of their jobs.
Denise Duncan, the president of the United Nurses of California/Union of Health Care Professionals, stated that there used to be a time when they would see people standing with signboards outside the hospital that stated, “Heroes Work Here”. But that was long gone, and it became a thing of the past.
Multiple health care workers stated that since during this time their demand for services is the most, they would do everything they can to be in the good eyes of the public. They also said that they knew the public would look down upon them for just walking away from their duties in the middle of this pandemic, but they were left with no option rather than putting their last bit of strength left into play.
They also mentioned the problems they had to face during this pandemic, as they would never receive the protective equipment they needed. They could not withstand being targeted and threatened with physical violence along with the rash and struggling fight against Covid-19 for the past two years.