National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine January-February-March 2024

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22 N A T I O N A L N U R S E W W W . N A T I O N A L N U R S E S U N I T E D . O R G J A N U A R Y | F E B R U A R Y | M A R C H 2 0 2 4 At Mercy San Juan Medical Center, cars in the employee garage were getting broken into or vandalized and the walk from the hospital to the parking garage did not feel safe to nurses, particularly in the fall when it gets dark earlier. Night shift nurses would arrive when it was dark and leave before the sun came up. "I had to walk past bushes and all kinds of shrubbery that had great places to hide," said Jane Churchon, RN, NICU nurse rep, and PPC member, whose shift begins at 8 p.m. and ends at 4:30 a.m. "Some of the outside lights were not working so the sense of danger was high." In response to nurses' repeatedly voicing their concerns to man- agement for several months, most of the shrubbery was removed and the path to the employee garage was redesigned with zeroscape plants. New lights were installed to light the way as staff exit the building. Also, after nurses began agitating about the ongoing car vandal- ism, noted Churchon, including an employee's car getting completely trashed, security began rounding the garage more frequently. "I never saw them round before," said Churchon, who also reported that after many months of complaints, cameras were installed in the garage. These wins were significant improvements, but Churchon isn't stopping there. She wants to see more security changes to the garage, such as a speed bump or gate that would force exiting cars to slow down as well as a better license plate reader. Churchon said that if a car is speeding out of the garage, the license plate reader isn't able to capture information that could be shared with law enforcement.—C.S. Safety outside

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