National Nurses United

National Nurse Magazine Jan-Feb 2011

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NewsBriefs_Jan 2011 2/24/11 10:18 PM Page 4 NEWS BRIEFS Massachusetts RNs Launch Campaign for Safe Staffing Ratios MASSACHUSETTS L eaders from the Massachusetts Nurses Association, along with registered nurses from Tufts Medical Center in Boston and St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, held joint press conferences outside the two facilities Jan. 19 to detail their concerns about patient safety at their hospitals and to call for legislative support for, and passage of, long-sought legislation to set safe patient limits for nurses, as well as a bill to ban the dangerous practice of mandatory overtime as a means of staffing hospitals.  "These two hospitals are poster children for deplorable staffing practices that are representative of a growing trend in the industry statewide and nationwide," said Donna KellyWilliams, president of MNA, adding that nurses have filed more than 1,300 reports in the last year of unsafe situations at both facilities where patient care was compromised. At the press conference outside Tufts Medical Center, dozens of nurses from the 4 N AT I O N A L N U R S E es to call upon the Legislature facility, along with nurses from This page: Tufts to regulate RN staffing levels other facilities in greater Boston, Medical Center RN and to seek improvements in attended the event. Many of the Barbara Tiller calls for staffing through their ongoing Tufts nurses wore black scrubs, a state staffing ratios. union contract negotiations.  weekly practice at the hospital to Opposite: St. Vincent "It is with the utmost concern symbolize the deterioration in Hospital RN Marlena for the safety of our patients that patient care since hospital manPellegrino explains I, on behalf of the 1,100 nurses of agement implemented a new patient safety crisis Tufts Medical Center, am taking staffing model that has resulted at her facility. this opportunity to appeal for in nurses being forced to care for legislative support for desperately needed more patients at one time, while also using laws to set staffing levels and stop the use of mandatory overtime, and the floating of forced overtime in this and other hospitals," nurses from floor to floor as a means of Tiller stated. "I see nurses all over the hospistaffing the hospital. As a result of the staffing changes, Tufts Medical Center, which accord- tal going home late and in tears over how bad their shift was, hearing that they spend ing to its CEO cares for the sickest patients in the state, has become the worst-staffed hospi- sleepless nights wondering what they missed, or feeling horrible about not being tal in the city, and the only hospital that able to provide the level of care they know forces nurses in the intensive care unit to their patients deserve. Even one of these sometimes care for three patients at a time.  occurrences is unacceptable, but to have it According to Barbara Tiller, a longtime happening nearly every day is disgraceful, nurse at the hospital and chair of the MNA and it is patently dangerous." local bargaining unit, in the last year these The St. Vincent Hospital press conferpractices have prompted nurses to file more ence also drew a crowd of nurses from the than 520 reports of incidents that jeopardized patient care, and have caused the nurs- facility, with attendance from nurses who 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 JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2011

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