Letter to the Editor: Hospital union best for patients

As a lifelong resident of Addison and Chittenden counties, I am writing to you in support of the LNA’s fight to unionize at the UVM Medical Center. Not only do I believe in unions, and the combined power of the labor force to fight for their own rights and needs, I believe that without a union to negotiate over safe staffing, wages and working conditions it ultimately leads to harm of the patients that rely on UVM medical network.
As a patient with an autoimmune disease, I have experienced first-hand what an understaffed hospital floor is like. Once, I was given the wrong medication in my lead line, which ended up being extremely painful and traumatic for my family and me. I hit my page button, but help didn’t come right away. My mother was with me and alerted the nurses that it was urgent. It was a terrible experience, and I don’t know how long I would have had to wait if I hadn’t had someone with me.
It is irresponsible and unethical to block something that would ensure better patient care and dignity.  I don’t blame the LNAs, nurses, doctors, or pharmacy for what happened. I blame a provider behemoth that puts the wealth of administrators over the well-being of patients. It is vital that patient care staff have control over staffing needs. They are the ones with the patients every day, and they are the ones who know best what the patient’s need.
Desiree Roberts
Lincoln native and Mount Abe graduate

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