“I stand with all my colleagues” – Our Readers Respond

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“I stand with all my colleagues.”

Over the last six weeks we heard this many times, from coworkers, former staff, and public employees outside OHSU. It’s uplifting to read and hear expressions of support.  Comments on our articles about the ongoing issues in the Rehab department have been, at once, eye opening, compassionate, devastating, expressing the full range of emotions from outraged anger, compassionate concern, and most commonly, disappointment with OHSU.

In this article we turn the page over to those who cared enough to share their stories and thoughts with us.

“It takes courageous authentic leadership and advocacy to stand against exploitive health care delivery models. OHSU is perched to see and lead the way. Isn’t it? It requires a servant heart and leadership style to care, to push for change and align the walk with the words, for the sake of all stakeholders.”

“As a former employee of the OHSU rehab department I understand what all of the therapists are going through. I LOVED my job. But the culture of negativity created by management made the daily stress no longer sustainable, so I left a job and coworkers that I loved. I am proud of what the rehab department is doing now in collaboration with AFSCME, and I truly hope real change is created.“

The benefit of our OHSU rehab specialists is unmeasurable. They are INCREDIBLE and an invaluable member of the critical care team! As an ICU RN, I am totally grateful for all the hard work and expertise they provide and am disappointed to hear they are being treated this way. Not only is OHSU harming their relationship with their employees, they are threatening the successful outcomes of their patients.”

Coming to work for the OHSU rehab department was something I was very proud of until realizing the complete lack of support there is from the management level.”

“I’ve worked in the ICU and acute care alongside many hardworking, professional, and dedicated practitioners in rehab services. Their work is crucial to getting our patients out of the ICU and discharged from the hospital. They are integral members of our team and we can’t give our patients the best care without them. I can’t imagine the stress and demoralization they are feeling in this work environment. “

I’m proud of the rehab team coming together to fight for fair treatment and quality patient care. Thank you all for sharing your stories! We stand united!”

“Thank you all for sharing. I can’t express how validating it feels to read this posting and some of these comments. As an acute care clinician on the OHSU rehabilitation team I echo all the aforementioned remarks. I too fear that OHSU is not a place I can set the roots of my career due to mismanagement and lack of support.”

“ We are supposed to be the premier hospital in the region, providing the most up to the minute evidence based care. Our upper Management can’t support the one measure that has been proven throughout the years of research to provide favorable outcomes from patients across the spectrum of illness and injury. Our patients and staff deserve so much “

“ I work as a nurse in an adult ICU at OHSU and our P.T.s are a crucial part of our treatment team. The patients in my particular unit are extremely ill, both chronically and acutely, and generally require a great deal of time and staff in order to mobilize. The therapists I work with ROUTINELY go above and beyond to make sure their patients get the services they need in order to ultimately discharge from the hospital and be safe in doing so. “

“As someone who has been through physical therapy, I cannot fathom how this could or should ever be measured by quantity of throughput. Quality of treatment, both physically and emotionally, are critical to success. Having the patience and skill to push someone through a sometimes horribly painful process and to keep their patient’s spirits up is vital to recovery.”

Time and time again, during staff meeting after staff meeting and employee engagement survey after survey, therapists consistently report patient care as the single most rewarding aspect of their profession and the primary contributor to job satisfaction. This has worked out supremely well for the organization so far, as many of us continue to work under these demoralizing conditions because we simply love what we do and want to provide the best patient care possible, and therefore put up with this state of affairs .”

“So many aspects of being a good therapist-of going above and beyond-involve tasks/time which may not be “billable.” Management does not care. OHSU does not care. These productivity expectations are only creating a toxic work environment, not contributing to quality patient care, and are discouraging professional development.”

Throughout the course of these reports it has been clear that the first concern of therapists has been the well being of their patients. Outside of the most basic concerns – not wanting to be disciplined for taking the time to give the best patient care and wanting to be compensated for the time they are actually working, almost none of this is about them. It’s about their patients first, their love of and concern for their professional responsibilities second, and themselves third.

We are grateful for your continued support.

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