In the mix: Health system lays off nurse during patient surgery

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, May 4, 2009

A Dean Health System physician made an incision during a recent routine surgery. A nurse manager, meanwhile, made a cut.

It's the manager's cut—to layoff a member of nursing staff who was assisting in the surgery—that has healthcare professionals up in arms. The manager called the nurse out of the surgical procedure to be informed that his or her position had just been terminated.

Paul Pitas, director of corporate communications at the Madison, WI-based facility, confirmed the incident followed an announcement on April 8 that the health system would lay off 90 employees "immediately."

The facility released a statement in which Pitas declared "the absence of an RN goes against established patient care procedure" and that the act was "clearly ... an error in judgment on the part of the manager conducting the layoff." Pitas declined to release the manager's name, but he reported to the Wisconsin State Journal that the manager has more than 30 years of nursing experience.

First comment: "Unbelievable! I have worked in the OR for nearly 30 years and have seen managers make poor decisions regarding staff and patient care, but this tops all ..."

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