“In healthcare, I realize that having a union contributes to better patient safety and allows me to be more of an advocate for the patients and the nurses.”
Nursing was always a passion for me. I’m an oldest child and was very nurturing to my three siblings. I constantly wanted to treat anyone I met as if they were family members. As a nurse I get to advocate for my patients now, whether they are awake or asleep on the operating table.
While I was still living in Rhode Island, a friend of mine who had moved to California for nursing opportunities called me; she was working at Kaiser Fontana at the time. She asked me, “Why don’t you see if you can get a job here, at Kaiser? It’s a good place to work and has good benefits because of our Union.” At the time I had two young children and a husband, so having good benefits and quality health care for my family was really important. I interviewed at Kaiser Fontana and was hired in 1987 to work on the pediatric unit. I did that for about four months and then had the chance to participate in a 6-month peri-operative program in the Operating Room. I’ve been in the OR ever since. I stayed at Fontana until 2005, when I transferred to Sand Canyon.
Fontana was a great experience for me when it comes to UNAC/UHCP. The Fontana RNs were very union strong and it was exciting for me because I had not worked in a union facility before. When I transferred to Sand Canyon, UNAC/UHCP was working diligently to build up our local leadership. I became involved because I believed I could help make a difference when it came to educating nurses and managers about our labor-management partnership.
Nurses have more contact with patients than doctors do. We know what is going on with our patients, advocate for them, administer medication when needed and even sit by the bedside to help ease their nerves or just be someone to listen to their concerns. In healthcare, I realize that having a union contributes to better patient safety and allows me to be a strong advocate for my patients and my fellow nurses.