... "The nurses are very pleased," said Mary Bailey, chief nurse union representative and a 17-year veteran who works as a medical diabetic nurse. "It allows Memorial to go to the front of the line in nurse recruitment and retention, which is a key part of safe patient care."
A new element to the contract is a commitment to employ a "lift team" to help nurses turn over patients. Long Beach Memorial is among the first in Southern California to incorporate such language in a contract, union representatives said.
The additional staff will be on call 24 hours a day every day, a big plus for keeping the injury rate among nurses and the likelihood of bed sores among patients to a minimum, Bailey said.
The contract also addresses the concept of "floating" nurses to another department that may need more help. At times, they are moved to clinical areas without any expertise and orientation, said Margie Keenan, a 34-year RN in the hospital's coronary care unit.
Under the new pact, nurses would have to demonstrate clinical competency before being floated to a different department....