FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 4, 2020
Contact: Kristi Barnes | email@example.com | 646.853.4489
Locked Out Nurses Wait by their Phones as Overwhelmed ER Nurses Plead for Help
Two Units Still Closed, Montefiore Mixing COVID patients with Surgery Patients
New Rochelle, NY - Montefiore’s lock out of nurses who went on strike at New Rochelle entered day two. Nurses who were scheduled to work today were called and told not to come in, despite the number of patients in the hospital returning to normal volume on the open units.
Raymond Roldan, RN, an ER nurse, explained: “I was scheduled to work yesterday and today, but I was called Wednesday evening and told not to come back until further notice. I’m hearing from the ER nurses that patients are no longer being diverted away from the ER, and we have a regular volume of patients. Nurses are running around without breaks and hoping there are no accidents or cardiac arrests today. Managers have refused to call in more nurses to help. It’s this kind of cutting corners that compromises patient care.”
In the first 24 hours of the lock out, on December 3, there were 67 patients in ED, including 13 patients who were admitted to the hospital. Only 9 RNs were working, when there would usually be 12-15 nurses working.
Adding to the anxiety inside the hospital is the continued closure of two units — one for COVID patients, and one for post-surgical patients. Montefiore is now co-horting vulnerable post-surgical patients with COVID patients, which goes against basic infection control protocols and was the subject of an OSHA complaint NYSNA filed against the hospital on November 27.
NYSNA leader at New Rochelle, Kathy Santoiemma, RN, is one of the locked out nurses who works in the post-surgical unit. She said: “Montefiore needs to end this lock out and stop punishing nurses, because at the end of the day, it’s the patients who are being punished. We just want to make sure there are enough nurses to get our patients the care they need.”
Nurses have been negotiating a new contract with Montefiore New Rochelle for two years. No further negotiation dates have been set. NYSNA estimates that dozens of nurses have been locked out but is still gathering reports from nurses.
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.