As a resident it can be hard to ask for things — ask for help with a procedure or ask for a day off to go to a best friend’s wedding. I have learned from CIR that it’s okay to ask for things from our employers — ask for a housing stipend or ask for overtime pay. CIR has taught me that in addition to being learners, we are also employees. If we don’t ask, then we’ll never know. Residents are a very unique population of very educated but also disenfranchised and overworked individuals. Union strategies that work for different types of labor groups may not be as effective with Residents. I want to help CIR continue to develop messages that speak to and for it’s members.
Our patient care fund provides a voice for residents to advocate for patients. It directly empowers residents, who are the front-line of patient care to make investments in items that directly improve the efficiency and quality of patient care. This fund has been used for patient cellphone charging, ultrasound machines, stat laboratory machines, eye masks and ear plugs for emergency room patients.
CIR is an incredible tool for resident advocacy. That means whatever issues are important to residents is important to CIR. We have an incredibly diverse membership individually, in each hospital and nationally. Given the far reach and diversity, I intend to work on building stronger ties between different hospitals and resident programs. There are so many CIR members overcoming challenges with their local administration and brainstorming new ideas for patient advocacy, I would make it my goal to have these ideas collected — creating a national shared electronic drive of resources as well as encouraging CIR members to communicate regularly with other hospitals. We are stronger together.
Unions are important in protecting all different types of employees. I think we should collaborate more with local unions (i.e. nursing unions). We are all striving to for improve patient safety and working conditions in hospitals. We work together in the hospitals, we should work together as unions.