They only wanted a chance to do what they were trained to do. What they went to school for. To care for people the way they were inspired to do at the moment they decided on their life's work. They wanted to do right by the people who depended on them. The corporate overlords had other plans.
"You did a really good job the other day when we were busy" The overlords would say. "We'll be able to save a lot of money by scheduling hours at that level from now on."
"You've got to be kidding me" said the health care professionals. "The other day was a crisis. We can't perform at that level 365 days a year."
"We're paying you good money." Replied the overlords. "You'll do what we say." Then they cut some more hours from the schedule.
So the health care professionals tried to cope. Because patients were depending on them. They spent day after day without seeing the sun with three things to do at once for 12 hours at a time. Their feet hurt. Their back hurt. They tried to cope. They held the health care of the people who depended on them together the best they could for as long as they could, and were rewarded with more tasks and less help. The health care professionals knew that the people who depended on them weren't getting the best the health care professionals had to offer. They were tired, some were broken, and all they wanted was the time to do their job properly.
Sound familiar? Well don't flatter yourself. I'm not talking about you. This group of health care professionals had the testicular fortitude to do something about it.
"I swear to God if you do not change things we will force you" said the California Nurses Association.
"Piss off" said the overlords. "You're cashing your paychecks, so you'll do as you're told"
The overlords started to listen though, when the nurses learned how to play politics. Against all odds, they maneuvered a skinny little weasel serving as Governor into their corner.
"But....but....we'll never be able to run a hospital if you do what they want" said the overlords, but the weasel looked over at the nurses and was afraid. He did what the nurses wanted.
But then the weasel was replaced with a big, scary, terminator robot. "You vill do vat de korprates vant" said the robot. "Or I vill krush you like I krush de aliens in de movees"
The nurses responded by kicking the robot in the testicles, which were very hard to find due to many years of steroid use, and as of January 1st, California has fully implemented its legally mandated nurse to patient ratios. Yet somehow the hospitals have continued to operate. How about that. I am in love with The California Nurses Association, and I desperately wish they would organize this state's pharmacists.
Before you poo-poo me the way you have been programmed to poo-poo the very mention of the word "union," I will remind you that I, and every other pharmacist in California, get 30 minutes to try and stuff some food in my face only because of long-ago efforts by the United Food and Commercial Workers. (Look at the second letter if you click on the link)
Do you get to eat in your state? No? Huh. I bet you get pretty hungry over the course of a 12 hour day. I know I used to. Yet somehow, even with the fact that I get to put something in my stomach, all the prescriptions in California seem to get filled. How about that.
Anyway, you should probably get back to work now. I'm sure you have lots to do.
And I'm pretty sure, unless you do something about it, you'll have more to do tomorrow.