Clockin’ In Blues

This article is reprinted from the Speak Out Now healthcare newsletter at Kaiser and Highland Hospitals in Oakland, CA.

At Highland Hospital, our nurses’ union contract stipulates that we have a 7-minute grace period to clock in before the start of each shift. This ensures that we are settled and ready to take report from the off-going nurse right at the start of our scheduled shift. However, management recently decided that they could save a few pennies by demanding that we clock in only moments before our shift starts, giving no time to find our assignment, sign up for breaks, log into our work phones, or even grab a pen and paper to take report!

This leads to delayed and rushed handoff reports, compromising patient care. What’s more, this new “rule” is not in our contract and not in any way enforceable by disciplinary action! If we need to save money, maybe we should be dispensing with some of these overpaid managers instead of rushing nurses and jeopardizing patients.