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Letters to the Editor
News & Citizen (Morrisville)
May 14, 1998

Open Letter

Editor, News & Citizen:

   [The following is an open letter to Carolyn Roberts. Ed]

   I'm writing to tell you that we support and respect our nurses.

   I saw you Sunday in church praying, you seem to be a very nice person. Please bring back our nurses. It's sad that they had to strike to make a statement. I'm sure you know, it's not what they wanted, but their patients come first. They did not have a choice.

   These are the dedicated nurses that spend hours at the bedside providing the best patient care that they can, they are the best.

   We always felt in good hands at Copley with them. One that stands out is Denise Marcoux. When her patients wake up in recovery, just to see her there with so much compassion and caring for them. It's like being touched by an angel. You know you have the best in this department.

   She is only one example of what specialized nursing is. You know that, too. They do their best work in their own job where they have been trained. They are only Defending Quality Patient Care.

   We do not agree with you that they should be put in a pool and be chosen at random to assist whoever for whatever.

   Copley Hospital would never be the same if someone not qualified was to be picked to do your job and you were assigned to the operating room. It would not work very well, It's the same thing.

   We ask you to support and respect our nurses. You say the hospital is running well without them, that you have another staff of nurses that does the work. You probably pay them a lot more to keep them, plus lodging and feeding them. You are spending all that money for strangers when you should be taking care of your own nurses. It does not make sense to us.

    They need to be treated with the respect they deserve. Please don't take the risk of losing even one of them. Copley needs them. We need them. We know you will do what is right. We respect you, too. God bless you.

   George & Jacqueline Rondeau
   Hyde Park

Supports Sister   

Editor, News & Citizen:

   I write in support of my sister, Denise Marcoux, a Copley nurse currently embroiled in the midst of a controversy not of her choosing. All she has ever wanted to do, all she has done, is to nurse with integrity and care for her patients well. However, due to the continued barrage of schedule changes, increased patient load, and decreasing work hours and trained staff, she has been forced to take an active role in the current negotiations with management. Simply, this kind, loving, highly skilled, and competent woman, fights for the dignity of her job and well-being of her patients. If she is fired, she faces total upheaval. She is not alone. If you know her, you know anyone of the nurses who have chosen to "fight city Hall".

   I am perplexed at -what Copley's management is hoping to gain. It is true that Copley can fire its strikers and replace them with lower-wage, generic nurses. But, if Copley chooses to ignore the problems that compelled the nurses to strike in the first place, if Copley chooses not to seek consensus based solutions that only good faith negotiations can bring, then it won't be long before its new hires will be holding their own picket signs.

   Carolyn Roberts has had a fine bunch of people walk out on her. Letting them go may seem like victory and a quick fix, but I believe that this business decision will haunt her morally and economically for the rest of her days. May she and the rest of her staff match the nurses' courage to do the right thing.

   Lisa M. Kent

Deeply Saddened

Editor, News & Citizen:

   We are deeply saddened by the events that have resulted in the nurse's strike at Copley Hospital. We had hoped that if we had remained quietly on the sideline that the administration and nurses could have worked this out.

   Yet, we have been dismayed and angered as we have read in the newspaper that the nurses are greedy, inflexible, and unreasonable. We're not sure which nurses they are talking about. Perhaps it's the obstetrical nurse who stays hours beyond the end of her shift to help with a difficult delivery; or the one in the intensive care unit that suggests treatment that saves the life of the patient with a heart attack; or the nurse who holds the hand of the elderly woman dying alone in the hospital; or perhaps the one who on her own time drives to Fletcher Allen to visit a very sick patient that we had to transfer. Greedy? Inflexible? Unreasonable? We do not think so! The nurses at Copley Hospital are professionals and they know their jobs better than anyone else does. We as physicians are in a unique position to know this and we look forward to getting back to work with these nurses soon.

   The nurses on strike at Copley are colleagues and friends and we support them.

   David Bisbee, M.D.
   Michael Sampson, MD
   Christine Conley, MD


Honor Their Request   

Editor, News & Citizen:

   Let us as a community support our nurses! They are professionals in a highly stressful occupation. Many are specialized and/or certified in their individual fields. The nurses are the people who do the caring and the caregiving when we are in need. Not management!

   As far as I know, management controls the purse strings, pushes the papers and makes the decisions for all employees. In government we call these people bureaucrats.

   I come from a long family line of registered nurses. The first one, my aunt, started practicing in 1945 at a hospital larger than Copley, and the last one started practicing in 1986. In all, there have been six nurses, one for each of the past 5 1/2 decades.

   I have given birth to three children, two of my childrenhave given us grandchildren and I have been a surgical patient. It wasn't management who took care of us! My husband had a heart attack and open heart surgery. Thank God it wasn't resource pool nurses attending to him.

   My understanding is that patient care is the most important issue and a resource pool would compromise the quality of that care. Would anyone really want an auto mechanic to attend a leak or electrical problem in their home? I don't think so!

   The management at Copley Hospital doesn't need to control the nurses, or any employee for that matter. They should, however, respect them all, work with them to solve problems or concerns, and finally stop giving the community misinformation.

   Most of all, honor the nurses' request to come back to the negotiating table. Come with Good Faith. Come with patient's interest at heart.

   If you, the community, could find it in your heart to support your nurses, tie a white ribbon on your automobile antenna. Let management know you want them to negotiate!

   Lana & Michael Young

My Sister's Heart   

Editor, News & Citizen:

   Let me tell you about my sister's heart. My sister's heart is caring, compassionate and full of love. It is a heart that never steps aside when someone is in need of help and care. It is a heart that at a very young age knew when it grew up, it would dedicate its life to helping others.

   As a young child growing up with my sister's heart, I always knew I could turn to it whenever I was suffering, either emotionally or physically. Her heart always seemed to know just the right advice or remedy to prescribe.

   My sister's heart has never wavered from its love for and its dedication to it profession, and particularly, to the thousands of patients who have come under its care over the last 28 years. It is a heart that has listened to many a patient's hopes and dreams, and one that has calmed many fears. It has helped patients struggle through difficult recoveries, and it has shed many a tear over the loss of some of those patients.

   My sister's heart is a brave heart, and it is one to be admired. I never knew it had the potential to stand up for its beliefs and values, and yet, it has proven to be strong and true in its fight to overcome injustice.

   My sister's heart is being torn apart by an administration that is more concerned with the "bottom line" than the dedication, loyalty and hard work of its nurses toward their patients. My sister's heart is a nurse's heart, and my heart aches for her's as her job and future hang in the balance. I pray a reasonable resolution will be reached soon.

   May God bless you all through this difficult time in your lives.

    Fran Marcoux
   Denver, CO