FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13, 2019
Contact: Carl Ginsburg | email@example.com | 917.405.1060
Reports of chronic understaffing come from almost 3,800 Official “Protests of Assignment” signed by more than 20,000 nurses
Anecdotes prove that Safe Staffing is needed now more than ever to ensure patients receive proper care
View the Reports for NewYork Presbyterian, Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s and West Campuses, Montefiore Medical Center’s Moses and Weiler Campuses, and Mount Sinai
New York – Thousands of nurses from the New York State Nurses Association today joined with elected officials and community leaders to participate in a day of protest sparked by reports that shed light on the horrendous conditions inside hospitals because there is not enough staff to give the patients the care they need and deserve.
The reports come from the compilation of almost 3,800 official “Protests of Assignment” (POAs) signed by over 20,000 nurses from January to December of 2018. POAs are official complaints filed by nurses to highlight severe problems in their facilities. The POAs listed in the reports come from NewYork Presbyterian, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and West Campuses, and Montefiore Medical Center’s Moses and Weiler Campus.
New York Presbyterian had 1046 POAs supported by 4469 signatures by registered nurses from January 2018 to December 2018.
Mount Sinai had 1310 POAs supported by 8058 signatures by registered nurses from January 2018 to December 2018
Mount Sinai’s St. Luke’s and West Campuses had 416 POAs supported by 2293 signatures by registered nurses from January 2018 to December 2018.
Montefiore Medical Center’s Moses and Weiler Campus had 976 POAs supported by 5405 signatures by registered nurses from January 2018 to December 2018.
Below are just a few of the thousands of jaw-dropping stories from the reports:
- Health & Safety; Insufficient # of Staff & High Acuity: Pediatric ED understaffed such that there is more than a 3.5 to 6 hour wait time to see a provider, more than 20 patients holding in triage area, no RN screener, patients pulling out IV and multiple attempts to bite, kick, scratch, and punch staff. Census 68, only 6 RNs.
- High Patient Acuity, Insufficient # Qualified Staff, Violation of Staffing Ratios: On NICU, we have 2 orientee RNs, and 2 CPAP baby, 4 CPAP babies with IV and ABTs, 3 babies with IV antibiotic and glucose checks every 3 hours. Our bed capacity is 35 and we are over with a census of 44. Only 3 RNs on duty. Parents need personal attention/education.
- Insufficient # of Staff, High Acuity: Unit census was 21 at start of shift with 2 admissions to be received. Now census is 26 with an additional 2 patients en route. A total of 11 admissions will be received on this shift. No CNAs on floor. 1 ventilated patient, 2 with trach, 1 on restraints, 3 isolations, multiple incontinent patients, 3 pressure ulcers, 1 blood transfusion, all call bells ringing but nurses are busy with admissions, over 20 patients on fall risk.
- Health and Safety: Insufficient space, hallway patients, patients stacked in rows, unable to access patients in a timely manner, temp in ED 76 degrees on west side, air conditioning not working on East side and area is very hot and uncomfortable, inadequate ventilation, unable to comply with appropriate infection control. Patients waiting days to get a bed and aggressive to staff.
A registered nurse receiving an assignment that in her/his professional judgment places the patient(s) at risk has an obligation under law and ethics to take action. The New York State Nurse Practice Act, the Code of Ethics for Nurses, and the mandates under the NYS Board of Regents Rules related to Unprofessional Conduct hold the nurse responsible and accountable for the quality of nursing care provided to patients. POA forms are used when nurses are expected to assume responsibilities and accountabilities that exceed their experience, or the volume of care is more than the nurse can safely administer.
It is clear that something must be done, including the implementation of Safe staffing ratios to ensure every patient gets the care they need and deserve. Safe staffing is one of the issues that is currently being discussed as part of contract negotiations. One note: it is a fact: safe staffing measures do not adversely affect hospital budgets. To the contrary, in many cases patients receive better care, and have a lower recidivism rate which saves money.
NYSNA RNs refused to be silenced on this issue despite hospital attempts to stop rns from expressing our views and hospital failure to provide us all the information we requested on staffing.
Nurses at the following hospitals participated in today’s protest:
- NEWYORK-PRESBYTERIAN: MILSTEIN HOSPITAL
- MONTEFIORE HENRY & LUCY MOSES CAMPUS
- MONTEFIORE JACK D. WEILER CAMPUS
- MOUNT SINAI HOSPITAL
- ST. LUKE’S HOSPITAL
- MOUNT SINAI WEST HOSPITAL
- THE BROOKLYN HOSPITAL CENTER
- BRONXCARE HEALTH SYSTEM
- NEWYORK-PRESBYTERIAN: ALLEN HOSPITAL
- MONTEFIORE HUTCHINSON CAMPUS
- MONTEFIORE WESTCHESTER SQUARE
- MONTEFIORE HOME HEALTH AGENCY
- WYCKOFF HEIGHTS MEDICAL CENTER
The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, please visit nysna.org.