Nurses raise concerns that patients could be diverted to other hospitals if Olean Administration does not invest in frontline nursing workforce
“We needed more nurses yesterday!” Olean nurses tell hospital administrators
Olean — Nurses at Olean General Hospital are speaking out to demand the hospital hire more nurses and develop robust plans to retain nurses in order to provide safe, quality care. The facility is facing an influx of patients, as more patients are seeking care after delaying care for more than a year due to the pandemic, and because nearby Bradford Regional Medical Center has reduced services.
The nurse staffing shortage is hitting the emergency room, ICU, and medical-surgical floors especially hard. In the ICU, nurses are sometimes caring for 3 or even 4 patients, when the safe standard is 1 or 2. On a recent night shift, an ICU nurse was training and orienting a new nurse at a time when there were 8 critically ill patients to care for—a recipe for disaster. On medical-surgical floors, the nurse-to-patient ratio should be 1:4, 1:5, or 1:6, depending on how ill patients are. But at Olean, the nurse-to-patient ratio has gone as high as 1:15, making providing safe, quality patient care nearly impossible. Nurses are working an unsustainable amount of overtime to ensure their patients are cared for, but they worry that soon, patients will need to be diverted to other hospitals.
Although hospital Administration has made efforts to solve the nurse shortage, nurses insist it’s not enough. They are demanding the hospital invest the resources to recruit and retain nurses to fulfill their commitment to care for the community. NYSNA nurses will also discuss how the passage of landmark staffing legislation on May 4 in the state legislature will impact healthcare in the region.
WHAT: Olean nurses speak out
WHERE: In front of Olean General Hospital, 515 Main St, Olean, NY
WHEN: Tuesday, June 8 at 11:00 AM
VISUALS: NYSNA nurses will be decked out in union gear. Masking and social distancing will be strictly observed
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.