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Prizing the Frontline, Not the Bottom Line, in Wisconsin

The goal of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (WFNHP) Code Red campaign is to engage healthcare workers in healing our healthcare system and making it sustainable again—which our members and our patients desperately need. The corporate model of healthcare prizes the bottom line over the frontlines and over patient safety. It has driven healthcare workers to the breaking point. The pandemic lit healthcare on fire, laying bare its structural issues and demonstrating just how unsafe and unsustainable corporate healthcare’s “do more with less” approach is.

For years, our members have worked under grueling conditions, increasingly unable to care for their patients in the way they signed up to do. We’ve heard stories of those who left the bedside because workplace stress threatened their health. Commonly, members work 12-hour shifts without being able to take bathroom or meal breaks. And some have been unable to refuse unsafe assignments for fear of discipline or termination. The extent to which healthcare workers, and nurses specifically, are asked to absorb more responsibilities and forgo a personal life or work-life balance is frightening. Administrators claim it’s necessary because of a pandemic-driven staffing shortage—but in truth, the shortage is a direct result of years of corporate decisions made to increase profit.

Read the rest of this article by WFNHP President, Connie Smith and Executive Director, Jamie Lucas in the AFT Health Care Fall 2023 issue, here.

View the entire AFT Health Care Fall 2023 Issue .

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