Nurses at Maine Medical Center assisted bring me out of my mother’s body and into this world. Theirs were some of the extremely first human faces I saw when I opened my eyes, just a few seconds old, yelling loudly. (I haven’t stopped that part.) Mommy said the best meal she’s ever had were the crackers and peanut butter a nurse brought her right after I was born. (It is possible that the hormonal agents were clouding her quality judgment.)
I don’t remember the nurses who helped me get in the world, obviously. But I sure as heck remember the nurses who assisted when my dad started to leave this world. I spent a lot of time in Maine Medical Center as Dad’s cancer choked his guts and starved his flesh and ate him from the within. And let me tell you, it wasn’t the CEO of MaineHealth who was setting his catheters or offering him a sponge bath or adjusting his pain medication. It wasn’t the MaineHealth president in his elegant office who made my dad strawberry milkshakes, which ended up being the only thing he could keep down. It wasn’t the president who let me utilize the break room photo copier to make multiple copies of Father’s last will and testament so he might read it over and sign them because he understood death was coming for him and by god, once a legal representative always a legal representative, he was going to ensure his affairs were totally in order. And so they were.
I was drinking a lot in those days, however the memories of the nurses in the Gibson Pavilion at Maine Medical Center are burned into my brain and my heart. I am not an individual who loves or trusts easily, however the Maine Medication nurses have my lifelong, ride-or-die loyalty. So if the nurses at Maine Medical Center want to form a union, they have my complete and complete assistance.
In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I work for a center that is owned by MaineHealth, the exact same organization that operates Maine Medical Center. I don’t operate at Maine Medication– I’m not even in the exact same county– and I am in no way a physician. Whether the nurses unionize will have no effect on my financial resources. The only way I could perhaps obtain a benefit is if someone’s in a celebratory state of mind and purchases doughnuts for the break room. (Hope springs eternal.)
I do get a few of the slickly produced union-busting emails, though. One came from Jeffrey Sanders, the president of Maine Med. It included an unlisted YouTube video, suggesting the general public would not have the ability to discover it in a search of the site– you need to have the specific link to gain access to it, and the link went to every MaineHealth employee. He looks unblinking into the camera and uses the expression “union-free” 3 times in 30 seconds. He makes $640,000 a year. He seems to do an excellent job, but in my humble opinion, the people who should have to make $640,000 are the ones on their feet for 12 hours at a time setting IV lines and placing catheters and doing the thousand delicate jobs that can imply the difference in between life and death. William Caron (CEO of MaineHealth) and Richard Petersen (president of MaineHealth) both have a yearly wage of $1.6 million. That’s a great deal of cash, specifically in a state like Maine, and particularly due to the fact that MaineHealth is a nonprofit. I question if they’re stressed that the bargaining power of a nurses union might require them to take a pay cut to balance the budget plan.
I come from a union household. My grampy came from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Employees, and that assisted provide him and the eight kids he and Grammy had in between them a solid middle-class life. My father was a public school ed tech. He didn’t make much money. However he came from the teachers union, and because of the union’s settlements, he had terrific health insurance benefits, which suggested we might request for the best care Maine Medication might give him without worrying about how we were going to afford it.
One last thing. A couple of years ago, my sibling had significant jaw surgical treatment and was in the health center for several days. As you can envision, being a teenage girl is difficult, and going through agonizing surgical treatment that involved breaking and resetting the jawbone is even worse. She looked like a flesh-colored pumpkin with limbs. And she was stuck in the same medical facility she had actually invested a lot time in, enjoying Father get sicker and sicker. As you can imagine, this scenario didn’t put her in an excellent state of mind. Her nurses knew that. Among them covered the mirror in her healthcare facility space with a sign that stated, “In the meantime, the only thing you need to see is who we see: strength, kindness, perseverance, intelligence, healing, a world changer, expect the future.”
Nurses don’t enter into the occupation for money or popularity or power. They go due to the fact that they have a contacting us to recover individuals. The nurses of Maine Medical Center have recovered my family sometimes, and I stand with them.