Hello fellow Nurses,
Looking at your experience & tenacity, at all you do every day for patients everywhere, I’m always impressed.
We on this project need a little help, especially from that of open-minded take-charge Nurses like yourself -
I’m a nurse, and I take Nursing very seriously.
Well, folks, there’s another Nurse, a fine example from all I’ve researched (which I have done at some length).
She is Amanda Trujillo of Arizona. If unfamiliar with her situation, see a summary at the end of this post. Also, others have done her more justice: see FB page “ Nurse Up for Amanda Trujillo “
We have a plan – a tactic that has worked in the past to quickly convince a corporation to reverse an important decision. If it works now, such unfavorable public scrutiny of the facts of this situation will accrue that Banner, Inc. will seek to resolve the situation. Banner appears the central driver behind Amanda’s plight. Any Banner influence used against her could readily be reversed in her favor: all that is required is sufficient motivation. Amanda could then go on with her life as a Nurse. We don’t require much of any individual, but we do need numbers. We need only a few minutes of your time, an envelope and stamp, an inexpensive prop, and your voice: recruit others, spread the word. With Social Media tools, the word can spread exponentially & rapidly, with little individual effort.
Nurses educate. Banner Health, as it turns out, needs some timely education about Nurses and health care reality:
1) Nurses have power,
2) Nurse are NOT optional,
3) Nurses are ESSENTIAL and must be treated as such, or there will be an intolerable price to pay,
4) Nurses are not cogs to be thrown out whenever inconvenient to the big corporate machine or to any prima donna Surgeon, and
5) Nurses are to be respected like any other professionals. While any hospital can persist for some time without its management, it can function NOT A DAY without its nurses.
We need to convince Banner Health that it is in their best interest for Amanda to keep her license and continue to work as a Nurse. To do so, we need to make it unpleasant and embarrassing otherwise. Given this incentive, Banner does the rest. AZ BON will hardly persecute a woman when her corporate ex-employer comes to her defense. Don’t believe me? Think of the recent events with Komen and Planned Parenthood: united voices can move mountains in today’s new Social Media reality.
How to apply pressure? We could sign a petition like the one currently on “ Nurse Up for Amanda Trujillo:” I did, and that just might work. But I want to try something else in addition: something with a stronger track record: we each send Banner a prop protest gift. What, you may ask? Send gifts? As it turns out, it can make for a potent and useful spectacle: as gifts pile up, they become an embarrassing spectacle. Soon we can interest the traditional press: turn the ever-hungry 24/7 news media to our advantage. No threats, no violence, no labor actions that require being there and surmounting lots of legal hurdles. It would be something no hospital would soon forget, and Banner likely never. In this way it would serve the interests of Nurses everywhere.
But first we need a prop. So far we have three ideas:
1) Caryl J. Carver came up with this one: send “Cracker Jacks: popcorn, peanuts AND a prize” Not bad: cute, cheap and easy with snail mail. It costs just enough to show commitment (VERY important in this tactic), but is still quite cheap.
2) My original proposal: Power Mix. See below
3) Write a letter. I’d much prefer one of the other options, as they bring an element of theater, symbolism, and novelty that would greatly help to attract the traditional press and really get the pressure fires stoked hot. While less of a powerful symbol, a letter still helps: snail mail offers thousands of times more impact per unit than any e-mail or e-post – see others of my blog posts as to why this is true, but I didn’t come up with the idea myself, it comes from a respected author who published a book on Social Media tools and their use.
As my prop, I’ve picked a mixed fruit/nut product called the POWER MIX – nice suggestive title, I thought. Regardless of the prop you choose, I suggest we include a note (free) with each package, e.g.:
“Nurses have power, and we offer this Power Mix to help you attend fairly to Amanda Trujillo’s case, important to Nurses with power across the globe.
We hope and expect this Mix will fuel a fair and appropriate outcome to this unfortunate matter: without Nurses like Amanda, there simply is no health care.”
As for target, I suggest the head of the hospital that fired Amanda:
John Harrington, CEO
Del E. Webb Medical Center [where Amanda worked until fired]
14502 W. Meeker Blvd.
Sun City West, AZ 85375-5299
I have already sent my package, as have some others: a growing number – not at all sure just how many at this point.
I can see why others have suggested the AZ BON as a target, but I think it likely that the BON has only Banner’s influence to explain its otherwise very unusual handling of Amanda’s case. If Banner decides it wants Amanda’s pain to end, I believe it will be so. Banner also needs a lesson in the consequences of rash HR decisions involving Nurses, and I would rather avoid attacking any Nursing organization if possible: such infighting would be unseemly, it may actually distract from the cause, and falls into the stereotypical destructive pattern of Nurses turning on each other instead of their common adversary. But do as you see fit, of course.
As for delivery, there is always the mail. I’d prefer UPS of Fed Ex : all those delivery guys add to the spectacle.
Personally, I used Nuts.com, the very same company that protesters used in a similar protest to successfully convince CBS to change a major business decision (see other recent posts). They managed to send CBS TWENTY TONS of peanuts, and it created a stir CBS could not ignore. Picutre lots of reporters and delivery guys in brown amidst a mountain of nuts.
Nuts.com conveniently offers product samples for $2.50 a unit – enough to show commitment, but not so much that any individual has to spend much – other recent posts include background information from an expert about using Social Media to maximum effect – some cost, even small, greatly enhances message impact by showing real commitment to the cause. Shipping is $7-9 for one unit, BUT if we bundle orders, its only $10.29 or so for 50 units, and the per unit price keeps dropping as you go up: with even relatively small numbers, the total per participant cost becomes under three dollars, shipping included. You don’t even have to leave your home to participate. Detailed instructions listed below, although it’s not very complicated (after all, I figured it out).
Choose a prop as you will: the details don’t matter.
What matters is numbers: once we get the ball rolling, recruiting gets easier, and the whole thing takes off: it takes on a life of its own and explodes into a dramatic Pile of Power, so to speak: so much public scrutiny and scandal that Banner will more than happily ensure that things turn out OK for Amanda – just as they initially ensured the trouble she’s now in. A great precedent for Nursing labor relations: approve unreasonable or unfair actions, HR Departments everywhere, and Nurses will make sure the price is high, and paid in full public view.
We can have a little fun, and produce our very own MOUNTAIN OF UNIFIED POWER!!!!
Let’s show Banner what we sound like when we’re angry: LET THEM HEAR OUR ROAR!!!
No longer lambs but lions.
No longer victims but equals.
Will YOU help Amanda and Nurses everywhere, NOW?
It would cost you a few dollars and a few minutes, and perhaps your voice to recruit others.
You can Amanda continue her important work, and help all Nurses everywhere protect vulnerable Nurses and patients from greedy abuses of power.
What do you say?
Please let me know – OR, if you want to take action yourself, GREAT!!!
Thanks for your time and consideration:
Greg Mercer, MSN
Spokesman, Nurse Power For Amanda
P.S. : ordering with Nuts.com:
1) Got to http://nuts.com/samples.html,
2) Click on the Power Mix,
3) Set the number of units ordered,
4) Click the green button, “Check Out Now,”
5) Click the white button, (unless you already have an account),
6) Enter the Shipping Address:
John Harrington, CEO
Del E. Webb Medical Center
14502 W. Meeker Blvd.
Sun City West, AZ 85375-5299
7) On the same page, to the right, click the dot : “Message on the packing slip. (free)”
8) Type in the window:
“Nurses have power.
We offer this Power Mix to help you attend fairly to Amanda Trujillo’s case, important to Nurses with power across the globe.
We hope and expect this Mix helps fuel a fair and appropriate outcome to this unfortunate matter: without Nurses like Amanda, there simply is no health care.”
9) Click Continue
Or ad-lib as you see fit, but nothing unprofessional, nothing threatening, nothing derogatory or inflammatory: we don’t want to give anyone at Banner means to distract folks from the main issue.
10) Fill out the billing stuff and some Power is on its way via UPS. I picture lots of guys in brown, delivering Mr Harrington reminders that Nurses have Power.
Background re Amanda’s case:
For Social Media protest background, see
She did the right thing for a vulnerable patient, in a system that apparently would have rather she’d done the most profitable and convenient thing. Likely with no idea of the danger she faced (what reasonable person could?), she gave a vulnerable and inadequately informed patient some education about their treatment options. As it turned out, the response to this information happened to inconvenience a rather profitable, perhaps not so ethical, professional, or personable Surgeon – of course we have no way to know for certain, but keep reading – use the available facts as your guide. Once informed of all the options available, the patient decided to consider hospice – their right, of course, regardless of anyone else’s opinion – as an alternative to Surgery. Providing additional time as needed in their professional judgement for proper informed consent counseling was quite certainly a professional right and obligation for both Amanda and this Surgeon. Of course, such counseling would have paid him and his hospital nothing, quite unlike the surgery he proposed. It may be unfair, but in light of his presumed income, his response to these circumstances may well be interpreted to suggest suboptimal ethics and professionalism. I can only judge from the information available, and if any one has relevant data to offer, I remain interested.
Amanda, in doing as both of them are required to do in every case, thus indirectly inconvenienced this surgeon, perhaps hurt his ego, risked his income and position in his hospital in reduced productivity and ‘face’: imagine a Surgeon publicly exposed to the dissent of a mere Nurse? An unfair assessment? Consider his response: in his professional judgement, he decided the proper course of action was to publicly tirade in open areas on an inpatient unit, and to make war on this nurse, demanding not only her job but her license – her livelihood and career, a single mother at that. Who, I may ask, is being unfair here? Yet he succeeded – whoever else may have been involved in the decision – she was fired, which to me reflects rather poorly on hospital management as a whole. The justification, once one found (created?), was that Amanda acted outside of her Scope of Practice by ordering a treatment planning consultation. If this were true, one might ask why the order simply did not take effect – I know of no institution that allows employees to enter unauthorized orders into its systems, later remedying the situation by firing them. It would be a very dangerously sloppy way of running a hospital, wouldn’t it? I must admit I find the idea implausible. Keep in mind, with all the resources at its disposal, this was reportedly the best justification for its actions this institution’s HR Department could muster: a weak argument indeed.
Now her Nursing License is in doubt, a surprisingly aggressive regulatory approach in light of circumstances. This same BON has also publicly questioned her psychological health by ordering a formal assessment: another unusual step, apparently in response to her voicing a public opinion regarding her own experience. I can think of only one other context in which such a chain of events might surprise no one: China and the former Soviet Union, where questioning one’s superiors has often been framed as evidence of dangerous mental instability, where the rule of law has generally been weaker than one’s connections, and where management and government approaches have been more heavy-handed than those we expect in a Constitutional Democracy. I am in no way suggesting that Arizona might have a Communist government: I am suggesting that this collection of facts best fits a pattern of the abuse of power. Conflicts of interest may help explain: the AZ State Board of Nursing (BON) happens to have some perhaps questionable connections with the corporate owner of this Nurse’s now ex-employer, Banner Health. It may also be relevant that Amanda is Latino, in the state of Arizona.
What is the state of the rule of law and civil rights in Arizona? Does the law matter more than one’s power, connections, and wealth, or not? Of course this very issue has been prominent in Arizona for some time. A very interesting case indeed, and equally troubling. I’m a Nurse, so a story like this one is not acceptable in numerous ways. I see evidence suggesting that both a Nurse and a patients’ rights, at least in one case, have been threatened: entirely unacceptable.
Whatever you do TAKE ACTION NOW – inaction means approval for Amanda’s firing and loss of license. You’re taking a side either way, so take the right one!