Somebody must be stuck in the Twlight Zone!

  1. Ever feel like youre on a merry-go-round that wont stop???

    Everybody in the world is talking about the "shortage" of nurses & healthcare workers who are willing to work in hospitals and now, at the same time, nurses & healthcare workers are being laid off. What the heck is going on????????

    <<
    For immediate release:


    Mount Sinai Nurses
    to Protest LAYOFFS!

    Picketing on Thursday, March 21

    NEW YORK, March 14, 2002 - Proposed layoffs at The Mount Sinai Hospital will further threaten patient care, according to the facility's registered nurses. As a result, the nurses plan to express their frustration over this situation with an informational picket from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, in front of the hospital on Fifth Avenue between 98th and 101st streets

    Insufficient staffing has already been cited by the State Health Department as a factor in the death of a patient at the facility in January, and additional layoffs will only make matters worse, the nurses say. (See: "Mt Sinai Hit On Death" http://www.nydailynews.com/2002-03-1...sp?last6days=1 )


    The nurses, represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), are trying through their current contract negotiations to develop solutions to the hospital's staffing problems. But management refuses to even acknowledge that there is a problem, and is continuing with its plan to cut an estimated 450 positions.

    So far, 15 registered nurse positions have been eliminated and NYSNA anticipates there will be more. An entire unit has already been shut down, a move that NYSNA believes is the result of irresponsible cost cutting that has no regard for the needs of patients.

    Furthermore, despite management's public assertion that few of the proposed layoffs would involve direct patient care, NYSNA contends that staff cuts in areas such as housekeeping would leave responsibility for their duties in the hands of registered nurses. This, in turn would further draw RNs away from their bedside patient care duties.

    NYSNA represents 1,821 RNs at the Upper East Side facility. Their most recent three-year contract expired on January 1.
    With more than 33,000 members, NYSNA is the leading organization for registered nurses in New York state and is one of the largest representatives of RNs for collective bargaining in the nation. A multi-purpose organization, NYSNA fosters high standards for nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity.

    For more information, call Mark Genovese at NYSNA (518) 782-9400, Ext. 353.>>>>
    http://www.nysna.org
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   -jt
    I just cant believe it. LAYOFFS!! The newspapers had the story just yesterday about a liver DONOR who died post-op because of poor staffing at that very same hospital. In fact, the news report states:

    <<Health Commissioner Antonia Novello slammed Mount Sinai for leaving an inexperienced and overwhelmed surgical resident alone to care for 34 transplant patients, including the one who died. "The transplant technique was perfect," she said. "It was the aftercare that was sloppy. ... I call it a 'Space Odyssey' operation and a Third World followup......Poor staffing caused hospital workers to miss serious danger signs after the successful operation Jan. 10 on journalist Michael Hurewitz, Novello said...."

    The hospital was fined $48,000 and ordered to halt liver transplants for at least sixth months.

    The Mt Sinai spokesperson was quoted as saying: the hospital is "deeply distressed" over the situation...... "Our investigation uncovered problems in care, and correcting them is our highest priority".

    And so they announce LAYOFFS!


    "Mt Sinai Hit On Death"
    http://www.nydailynews.com/2002-03-1...sp?last6days=1 )
  4. by   live4today
    How many more family members will have to listen to such garbage when it's their loved ones lives on the line in these hospitals that are short staffed? Perhaps the family members should start picketing for hospitals to stop the nonsense, and hire the nurses based on terms acceptable to the nurses! Well, I can dream can't I?

    Seriously though, aren't hospitals sick of being sued, and having to make all these apologies to the public just because they don't want to "wake up and listen" to their nursing staff? How many more patients must die before something constructive is done? Laying off nurses is NOT the way to go, that's for sure!

    I hope the family who is grieving the loss of that liver transplant patient takes this situation to the media. Then, maybe something will begin to happen for the betterment of patient care. My prayers are with that family right now as I know they must be in shock as well as feel anger for the reason their loved one died. So sad!
  5. by   Cascadians
    Clearly management is shoving an "in your face" message to nursing there.

    When management gets this far gone and displays psycho tendencies completely disaligned with reality, time for the entire nursing staff to QUIT en masse at the same time.

    The time may be approaching when the best hospitals are owned and run by nurses.
  6. by   Stargazer
    This is similar to what my old hospital did.

    --2 nursing layoffs in a 6-month period
    --Closed some floors and integrated others (ICU combined with CCU)
    --Laid off a number of nurse managers and gave each remaining one 3 - 4 units to manage
    --Whittled down crucial staff like nursing techs, respiratory, radiology, EKG, pharmacy, and lab techs, and transport and housekeeping
    --All but eliminated the IV Team and phlebotomists

    Guess who all these extra tasks fell to? Yep--the nurses. Then they gave charge nurses full pt care assignments. Then they started eliminating 1:1 patients (no matter how unstable) and piled ridiculous, unsafe assignments (e.g., 3 - 4 vent patients) on each nurse. THEN they started with the mandatory OT for the chronic short-staffing.

    I was soooo out of there.
  7. by   Hardknox
    Renee: In Massachusetts there is a charitable cap where in hospitals can only be sued for a total of $20,000.00. So these charitable institutions don't seem to mind getting sued except for the bad publicity. So who do you think gets sued?? The Doctors and the nurses. My dear friend got sued and is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Hospital didn't get sued! Healthcare s-u-c-k-s bigtime!
  8. by   oramar
    Could it be that these people know exactly what they are doing? That they have an acceptable loss limit and they have decided to keep cutting until they reach it? Could it be that a certain number of dead patients is acceptable to them? That would make the situation more sinister and less confusing would it not?
  9. by   Stargazer
    Yikes. That is truly a grotesque thought. Oramar, I don't know if you're being cynical or just realistic.
  10. by   live4today
    Originally posted by Hardknox
    Renee: In Massachusetts there is a charitable cap where in hospitals can only be sued for a total of $20,000.00. So these charitable institutions don't seem to mind getting sued except for the bad publicity. So who do you think gets sued?? The Doctors and the nurses. My dear friend got sued and is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Hospital didn't get sued! Healthcare s-u-c-k-s bigtime!
    Hi Hardknox,

    I voted for Bush to be elected thinking he would "undo" what the Clintons did to our healthcare system. HA! Seems like things haven't changed at all. Guess I'll have to write the good ol' Texan and find out what the big delay is all about!

    HMO has got to go! HMO has got to go! HMO has got to go!

    Oh, sorry...thought I was on a picket line in front of a hospital! :chuckle
  11. by   RNKitty
    "The time may be approaching when the best hospitals are owned and run by nurses."

    Now there is a thought, Cascadians.

    All the other thoughts are chilling.
  12. by   grouchy
    jt - this is beyond comprehension!

    Cascadian - I love that nurse owned and run hospitals concept!

    Oramar - I remember reading somewhere that supposedly the accountants at a US auto company made a similar decision many years ago - ie , we know the defective design could cause deaths, but the odds are we'll pay out less in lawsuits than it would cost to fix the problem. I'm not sure if this was the Ford pinto. Does anyone else out there remember? It eventually was discovered by the media 2' to lawsuits. I want to say it was the Ford Pinto with the exploding gas tank in the 1970's, but my memory is shaky.
  13. by   -jt
    Grouchy, it is beyond comprehension but its all over the news here. The state came right out & said the healthy liver donor died because of POOR STAFFING. And the hospitals answer is to announce lay offs - including RNs. Amazing.
    The hospital was fined LESS than what it spends on the salary of one new grad ADN. They have insurance for law suits so I guess money means nothing.

    Sometimes it seems that hospitals have an expectation that a certain amount of "loss" will occur & they can tolerate it. They'll just pay off the family nice and quietly. But I wonder how the staff and the new doctor that was left responsible for trying to manage 34 post op pts by himself are tolerating it.

    Signs of post op infection were missed because there wasnt enough staff to notice.

    This is all over the media here. I dont think the community is going to tolerate further reductions in staff at their hospital where someone has already lost his life because of the current reduction in staff.

    How do administrators come up with these ideas? Where is the logic or concern for pt care? It just boggles the mind.
  14. by   -jt
    yup - Ford Pinto - the frying pan on wheels.

    I think hospital lawyers have the same policy.

    Take the chance that it wont happen to everybody & if it does happen to a few, its still cheaper to just pay them some money & they'll go away.

    PS
    I remember reading about a hospital in Canada (Alberta?) that did a study by having RNs run the place & saw significant improvements. Wonder what ever happened to that.
    Last edit by -jt on Mar 15, '02

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