Nursing

News spotlight: Washington nurses picket for nursing and patient safety concerns

Nurse Leader Insider, February 8, 2010

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On February 2, more than 1,500 nurses from the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) held an informational picket to raise awareness of patient safety issues. The nurses, representing Sacred Heart Medical Center (SHMC) in Spokane, WA, wanted to address three issues they said will ensure their safety as well as that of their patients.

The topics up for debate include the ability to take uninterrupted rest breaks, inadequate nurse staffing levels, and changes to retirement benefits. The nurses alleged administration official at SHMC wants to move toward intermittent breaks, believing bathroom breaks and getting a drink of water constitute a break. However, nurses argue such breaks do not give nurses a break from their work and duties.

The nurses also allege many work overtime due to inadequate staffing levels and that management is proposing all nurses be on-call, even on their days off. The nurses said this change could hurt staff retention and nurse satisfaction.

Source: PR Newswire



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