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LETTERS: SEIU-member nurses key great care

To the editor:

Richard Berman, a Washington, D.C., lobbyist for special interests and large corporations, recently wrote a commentary in which he offered a dangerous misdiagnosis of what’s ailing American hospitals (“Congress must curb SEIU’s health care imposition,” June 5 Review-Journal). As a nurse for 30 years who has spent my career making patients my priority, I would like to share my perspective on why the united voices of nurses and other health care providers make an enormously positive difference for patients.

With for-profit hospital chains cutting more corners to wring more profits from their operations, and public hospitals struggling with inadequate funding, reducing nursing staff has become a convenient but misguided way to cut costs. This despite studies that show increasing the number of registered nurses could save billions annually by reducing the number of days patients remain in hospitals through prompt treatment of common but often intensifying problems such as infection and bleeding.

Working together as members of the Service Employees International Union, my colleagues and I have been able to advocate within our hospitals for better care. Our united voice has helped to ensure that nurses are assigned to care for an appropriate number of patients and that we receive the rest necessary between long shifts to keep us at our professional best. My colleagues and I are also able to document — without fear of being fired — when important procedures in place for patient safety are not followed. All of this results in better care and healthier outcomes for the patients we treat.

For more than a decade, Nevada nurse members of SEIU have led efforts for safe nurse staffing legislation. In the spring of 2013, our work led to passage of the Nevada Patient Safety Nurse Staffing Bill. The law requires hospitals in Clark and Washoe counties to partner with their nurses to create and implement staffing plans that provide nurse staffing levels necessary for quality patient care. This work of SEIU Nevada members will significantly improve the care patients receive at many hospitals.

Propaganda such as Mr. Berman’s attack on nurses and other health care employees who unite for a stronger voice deliberately obfuscates the real reasons quality care is at risk.

In an industry where too many corporations prioritize profits over people, and public hospitals struggle to meet enormous needs, patients are grateful that nurses are both caring for them at their bedsides and advocating to give them the care they deserve. As a nurse on the front line of health care, I’m proud to more effectively advocate for my patients as an SEIU member.



The writer works as a registered nurse at University Medical Center.

Common Core

To the editor:

Regarding Charles Greer’s letter (“Common Core,” June 9 Review-Journal), my daughter homeschools her two sons, with me teaching my grandsons math the old-fashioned way. First, I taught them to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Then I taught them algebra and geometry. Next year, they will learn trigonometry.

I have seen the Common Core curriculum. It made me throw up. I feel it was created to justify the Department of Education’s existence. I tried to follow one of Common Core’s math examples. It makes no sense. There is no way any child could be expected to learn this enigmatic method. I do not speak alone. Many friends feel the same way. It is a joke.

I agree 100 percent with Mr. Greer.



Informed voters

To the editor:

I totally agree with Lynn McHatton’s letter (“Inform voters earlier,” June 12 Review-Journal). I pride myself on being an informed voter, as well. I cut out articles during the year, write down the names of all judges whom I feel do a poor job, giving bail to criminals who have serious offenses or who are repeat offenders, etc.

I was especially concerned about Family Court Judge Steven Jones running for re-election; he was at the top of my list for a “no” vote. I was glad he withdrew. His arrogance was outrageous.

I keep my list in a file that I compile until election time. I refer to it when I get my ballot in the mail and mark it accordingly. I have all the information at hand, so it is easy to decide who the better candidates are. It is a bit of work, but it is well worth it.

I just wish more voters would inform themselves, and not just a week before the election, but throughout the year. Maybe we wouldn’t have such poor leadership at the federal, state and local levels if voters would just put forth some effort. Remember, voting is a privilege. Treat it with respect.



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