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Polaneczky: "Closure spurs anger toward striking nurses"

December 19, 2003 -- Ronnie Polaneczky's column in today's Philadelphia Daily News focused on the animosity being directed at nurses striking the Medical College of Pennsylvania (MCP) by their own colleagues as a result of Tenet Healthcare's decision to close the hospital.

The nurses were striking to end the hospital's practice of requiring forced overtime, which many view as a serious threat to patient health. According to the column, the nurses finally ratified a contract that would end the practice by June 1--but the hospital had just announced that it would close March 31. Evidently, some MCP employees were convinced that the nurses' five-week strike had caused Tenet's decision, and they reacted with verbal abuse against nurses who had been respected colleagues for decades.

Of course, as Polaneczky notes, there is significant evidence that the struggling hospital's failure had little or nothing to do with the strike, not least of which is Tenet's recent closure of two other hospitals in the area. The piece also describes the theory of some MCP nurses that Tenet actually engineered the labor dispute with the nurses so it would have someone to blame for the impending closure.

See Ronnie Polaneczky's article "Closure spurs anger toward striking nurses" in the Philadelphia Daily News.

Also see Ms. Polaneczky's Nov. 13 article Nurses make a difference: Practitioners could ease doctor shortage, her Nov. 17 article "MCP strike over standards a lesson for labor" and her Nov. 25 article "Nurses are ready to work, but want fair staffing."

For her outstanding contribution to the nursing profession, Ms. Polaneczky was awarded one of our Golden Lamp Awards, which are given annually to the best 10 portrayals of nursing in the media.

Ronnie Polaneczky may be sent letters of thanks at


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