"Patients Before Profit": The Three-Day Strike at Swedish Begins



It was over when the business majors invaded healthcare. Today’s healthcare mega corporations don’t give a flying fuck about patient care or safety. It’s all the bottom line. “We pay our executives market rate” they say to justify paying their CEO millions while understaffing many parts of patient care, not just nursing. Non-profits act like for-profits now and you better believe they care more about what their billboard on I-5 does for their branding than preventing medication errors or serving the impoverished.


@2, Just guessing but maybe flew them in from all over the country and are putting them up in hotels. Expensive but it's Union Busting time and will pay for itself if they win.

Kind of odd, saying Patients before Profits when they want more employees and higher wages that will only raise the cost for patients.


A strike! Rich must be creaming his jeans.


You can't run your fucking hospital labor budget like a retail store. Staff the floors appropriately off the bat, and you can cut the fat out once your productivity and patient outcomes square the circle and your marketing relies on genuine high quality care and not gaming and paying to win search engine algorithms.



Nurses have state issued licenses. If they’re not licensed in Washington, they cannot practice nursing here. So union busting isn’t as easy as bussing someone in from another part of the country.



You’re right. And that burn was so sick, it’s got coronavirus.


"Patients Before Profit" The irony...

How many patients are unable to go into ER, and get timely care for life threatening issues because their nurse is compiling about only making 75k yr.?



I need to post this shit on a laptop, not a phone.


I would like to thank the Stranger for their upfront in your face informed reporting. And ask the person who thinks that a nurse makes 75K eight out of the gate. Really. I’ve been in health care since high school and worked my way up the ladder a little bit at a time till I got my RN at age 40. I work incredibly hard and my biggest job everyday I work is being a patient advocate And May I ask what you do except maybe hold down a couch in your parents basement.


And may I point out closing the emergency rooms was not our choice. Point the finger at Providence



There’s a worldwide nursing shortage. Nobody wants to do this job. It’s hard. You have absolutely no idea how hard it is. And it’s dangerous. If you’re taking care of 7 people at the same time, you pretty much are guaranteed to throw your back out sooner or later. Also, if all seven of them have a heart monitor on, and any two go into cardiac arrest at the same time- you can’t call Code Blue on both of them, because you can only be in one room at a time. So that means you’re asking nurses to play god. They have to decide whether to save your ungrateful ass or the guy next to you.

Now, if you have better staffing ratios, it’s a little easier. It’s still harder than you think, but at least the odds of having two patients code on your at the same time go down.

I know you don’t give a shit about the nurses themselves. You probably do give a shit about yourself though. So, to save your own ass, don’t force the nurse to play god. They’ve only got two hands. They can’t shock your chest at the same time as the guy down the hall from you. And if you’re gonna force them to decide which one of you lives or which one dies, it might just be you that gets the short end of the stick. For your own sake, don’t set things up that way. Don’t put yourself and everybody else into a position where one of you dies because there aren’t enough nurses to save your ungrateful ass.


Still cost Money. Guess who pays? Just saying. Still the elephant in the room, especially when they say it's for the patient's.


@8 & @9: Sporty, is that you? Get off your phone!
@10 & @11 Sheri Shirley: Thank you for signing in. All the best on the healthcare workers' strike. Patients before profits. Corporations---and hospitals that want to operate like fast food or retail--really do need a wake up call. I hope this works and healthcare workers get the sustainable wages and benefits they deserve.


I would like to hear from other professions that work without being to eat, drink, or pee during their regular (8) or extended (12) hour shifts. I have always accepted this as a normal scenario in my past 13 years at Swedish. Most of us are willing to give up a substantial amount of our legally mandated breaks for the sake of our patients and covering nurses as long as we simply get to eat something during our day. Unfortunately, the demands of the job are getting harder with less staffing every year. I have personally witnessed this decline since Providence has taken over Swedish. it is unfortunate and unacceptable. Management has been pulled farther from the bedside and can’t even see the patient care problems that arise until it is too late. Our patients are suffering. Our staff our suffering. I have witnessed several employees leave my unit recently because the workload is too much to handle. We are losing amazing caregivers who are going to be the best workforce to take care of you and your families. They are choosing lower paying clinic jobs to escape the hospital madness. Nurses get physically and verbally assaulted on a regular basis. In other areas of employment, say Starbucks or any mall, these customers would be reprimanded and escorted out. Zero tolerance. In our environment we do everything we can to de-escalate the situation and gain cooperation. We often do this without the support of security because there is certainly not enough of their staff to keep us or the community safe. Please know that we do not take striking lightly. We are losing one third to one half of our paycheck to take a stand. We love our jobs. We love our patients. We just want to be treated fairly without major takeaways which is what seems to be occurring with each bargaining process.


As a healthcare worker, I absolutely understand the rigors of providing healthcare. But we choose this profession not because it is easy but because we want to care for our patients.

In return I appreciate the desire to be paid for the valuable care that we provide. What I cannot appreciate is the means by which this is being done. “Striking for patient safety” is a bit of an oxymoron because it so directly punishes patients and their safety. While I understand that striking is meant to challenge a system, ultimately it hurts many others. In healthcare, from an ethical standpoint, I don’t think the ends justify the means.

Unfortunately, now that we are here I think we need to continue to think of our patients. For those at the picket line and those driving by and honking on Broadway, please remember the sick patients who are trying to heal and fight to get better. They and their families who are already going through what is often the worst time in their lives do not need the added stress of 12 continuous hours of disruptive noise. The commotion does not impact administration, it only impacts our patients. While a silent protest may not be as attention grabbing, please consider thinking of the people you are striking to protect.