Labor Unions In Hospitals

2974 Words 12 Pages
Labor Unions in Hospitals
Neftali (Lee) Perez
Webster University
The main goal of hospitals is to maintain a healthy, professional and dependable workforce while providing an affordable and high quality care to all their patients. Labor Unions contend that in order workforce with criteria mentioned, a safe work environment, job security (higher incomes) and affordable healthcare (Reynolds & Brady, 2012) are needed. They contend those are reasons to have a bargaining unit to represent all employees in an enterprise. This paper discusses the membership of healthcare professionals and other employees in labor unions and roles of professional associations such as the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Nurses Association
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Our most prominent in U.S. are the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Nurses Association (ANA). The AMA was founded in 1847 and continues to maintain a high level of membership throughout the states. Its main goal is to promote the art of medicine (education) and its importance to the country’s public health. The AMA maintains a strong presence in the political arena around Washington DC and possesses the backing of powerful political action and lobbyist groups. The AMA maintains a tight control over it published works and educational programs by gathering and analyzing data, publishing medical articles in its well-known journal and offering continuing education programs to the profession. In 1980, over half of practicing physicians belonged to AMA but membership experienced a small reduction over the last few years (Kamery, 2004); never the less the AMA has a strong role in how healthcare is delivered in the country as opposed to the American Nurses Association which continues to lose its membership to other associations rivals. For example, as reported in Modern Healthcare, the New York State Nurses Association voted to cut its ties to the ANA. According to the same source, ANA membership has declined 32% since 2008 (Selvam, 2012) indicating resistance to ANA’s leadership which according to other unions, are composed of non-practicing nurses who are employed as administrators thus often act on behalf of the hospital management instead of promoting union interests and employee rights . When comparing both organizations, the AMA’s strong education initiatives, and long history of having a more personal relationship with our patient population may play a vital political role in maintaining the association’s professional reputation while the ANA may suffer from entity crisis as it often struggles to portrait a strong reputation and standing to its members and management. Rival

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