Nurses, not management, suffering burnout

I am writing in response to a recent article “UPMC Nurses Rally for Support.”

Nurses are frontline caregivers – the women and men we often have first contact with and receive our first treatment from – when we require medical care.

They are keenly aware of the needs of their patients and, until reading this article, I thought that hospital management would listen to nurses’ concerns and judgment with regard to important things like staffing.

Who better than nurses to know when staffing should be increased? It is the nurses, not management, who suffer from fatigue and burnout when faced with too many patients or patients needing extra care.

It is upsetting to read that management is not just unwilling to increase staffing as nurses have asked, but their proposals could actually decrease staffing.

When I, or a loved one, require hospital care, I want to know my nurse is not overloaded with patients and has the time to focus on my needs.

The article also stated that management is “pushing for a pay freeze and reductions in longevity bonuses” which would hurt senior nurses the most.

Why are they proposing cuts that could drive away the most experienced nurses who have spent decades making our hospital their home?

The fact that this discussion is happening now, after UPMC acquired Altoona Regional, is equally upsetting.

A partnership with this enormous health care powerhouse was supposed to be good for patients and good for the community.

Management needs to step up and make good on that promise.

Pat Wertz