NYSNA nurses at St. Charles Hospital braved the rain on April 8 and held an informational picket to shine a spotlight on unsafe staffing. Maureen Woodruff, RN, a 46-year veteran at the hospital and lifelong community resident told supporters, “My priority as a patient advocate is to ensure that the best possible care is given to my patients, but short staffing is a persistent problem” that is jeopardizing patient care throughout the hospital.
Emergency Department RNs report being stretched very thin, ICU nurses say they often care for three or four patients each, and nurses in the facility’s Rehab unit say there are times when they each must care for 11 patients. Tracy Kosciuk, RN, said, “As a nurse for 28 years at St. Charles, I have seen the needs of our patients change over the years. Patients are coming in much sicker. Unfortunately, nurses have less time at the bedside. My top priority then and now and always will be my patients. But it’s gotten more difficult.”
The 328 NYSNA RNs at the Port Jefferson hospital have been working without a contract for more than year. They have presented safe staffing proposals across the bargaining table to management, but have yet to achieve resolution.