Breaking News

“This Is An Unsafe Place to Work and Management is Aware.” Insufficient Staffing May Be Factor In Patient Deaths

WGAL Channel 8 in Pennsylvania reported today that:

The state Health Department released a report on Carlisle Regional Medical Center that states insufficient staffing may have contributed to the deaths of two patients in June. One died after the patient stopped breathing during a CT scan and was not accompanied by a nurse because of low staffing, according to the report. Another patient died after waiting more than seven hours for a transfer to another hospital for heart surgery, according to the report. The report is based on an unannounced complaint investigation at the hospital that started on June 9 and ended on June 22.

A hospital schedule showed more than 200 nursing shifts were left empty in less than a one-month period. One employee told investigators, “We all fear for our jobs because corporate will fire at will with no reason.” Another worker said, “This is an unsafe place to work and management is aware.”

News 8 called hospital management for comment, but the call has not been returned.

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A major new study led by one of the nation’s most eminent nurse researchers provides compelling new evidence that California’s landmark RN-to-patient staffing law reduces patient mortality, assures nurses more time to spend with patients, and substantially promotes retention of experienced RNs. “This research documents what California RNs have long known – safe staffing saves lives. We see the effects every day at the bedside in improved patient care, an enhanced quality of life for patients, and nurses able to more safely practice the profession to which we have dedicated our lives,” said Malinda Markowitz, RN, co-president of the California Nurses Association, a National Nurses United founding affiliate.

Why aren’t we surprised? Tell us your stories. Visit National Nurses United’s web site. See what you can do to support safe staffing ratio legislation.

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