Staffing Campaign in the ER Produces Results

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An active campaign to address short staffing and other issues in the ER at Jackson Main came to a head today, during a well-attended meeting between management and Local 1991 members in the ER.

More than 60 ER nurses, doctors, techs and social workers crowded into a staff lounge to speak about the situations they encounter on a daily basis and how those conditions negatively impact morale, retention and the ability to deliver quality patient care. Some even came in on their day off to share their stories.

CNO Debbie Tedder, Janice Gonzalez, director of nursing for the ER, as well as Michelle Kligman and Bill Wagner from Labor Relations, attended from management.

The issues raised included routine understaffing in the units and the need to improve admission times. Many other issues were also discussed that had been listed on a petition circulating in the ER previously.

The staff at the meeting were encouraged to hear Tedder state that she was planning to change the staffing ratios in the ER to 1:4 for non- critical patients, 1:2 for critical patients and 1:1 for coding or stroking patients.

Tedder said that 12 FTEs (both RNs and ancillary staff) will be posted soon. She further advised that charge nurses should not routinely be taking patient assignments.

Management also agreed with staff that closing ER C on weekends is problematic and they committed to working on an appropriate level of staffing that will allow it to remain open.

There will be a follow up meeting scheduled in the next few weeks to check on management’s progress in fulfilling its promises. All affected members are encouraged to attend.

Congratulations to the activists in the ER for starting this effort and for seeing it through to this point.

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