California Nurses Association representative Ian Selden issued a statement this morning saying that St. Joseph Hospital is dangerously understaffed and its nurses are overworked.
In the statement below, Selden says that nurses at St. Joes filed an Assignment Despite Objection form on Friday, citing that one nurse worked a 15-hour shift.
“If you or a family member was undergoing surgery in the OR yesterday, would you want a well-rested and alert Nurse to assist in your medical care or a Nurse who was heading into her 15th hour on duty?” the statement reads.
The statement also says that Charge Nurse duties have been delegated to non-nursing personnel, which Selden said is a violation of state law.
St. Joseph Health spokesperson Christian Hill told the Outpost this afternoon that the hospital will issue a statement responding to Selden’s claims later today.
Press release issued by California Nurses Association representative Ian Selden:
Members of the Eureka Community, Media and Public Officials -
You are receiving this email because the operating room at St. Joseph Hospital, Eureka is dangerously understaffed and Registered Nurses can no longer stay silent about the lack of safe staffing.
Nurses working on Friday, December 15th worked in the OR under an Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) a legal objection form that formally protests the unsafe staffing of the unit and transfers the liability of patient care from the Nurse’s license to the Hospital.
Nurses do not file an ADO form lightly - they do so because they can not abandon their patients, but want to ensure that the Hospital understands the severity of the situation.
One Nurse on duty yesterday worked for 15 hours. If you or a family member was undergoing surgery in the OR yesterday, would you want a well-rested and alert Nurse to assist in your medical care or a Nurse who was heading into her 15th hour on duty?
Additionally, the duties of the Charge Nurse in the OR have recently been delegated to non-Nursing personnel. The OR Charge Nurse is a coordinator of care. To hand this important duty to an accountant or a non-RN manager is not only unsafe and irresponsible, but a violation of state law. This has been reported to appropriate state agencies, but again, we feel a duty to report these situations to a public who relies on our community hospital.
Registered Nurses have repeatedly attempted - in vain - to get the attention of Providence-St. Joseph to address these issues, but have been unsuccessful, so we now feel a duty to let the public know about the severity of unsafe staffing.
Thank you for your support - we will be sending out an alert every time the OR is on an ADO or we feel that there is a potentially unsafe situation.