Oak Hill RNs Say Long Hours, No Breaks, Raising Patient Safety Concerns
BROOKSVILLE – Registered Nurses who work at Oak Hill Hospital held an informational Picket Monday, to voice concerns over staffing compliance issues with Hospital Administrators.
Dozens of RNs marched in front of Oak Hill Hospital, holding signs that say “Safe Staffing Saves Lives” and “We Picket for Our Patients.” Nurses are concerned that they are understaffed and that administrators are not following their own staffing matrix policy. They say this raises serious concerns for patient care, due to nurses working 12-hour shifts and not taking scheduled breaks.
We spoke to RN, Jack Hood who said according to Hospital Officials they are between 20% and 70% understaffed in certain hospital units. Hood stated in a National Nurses United (Nurse’s Union) media release, “Appropriate staffing levels in every unit are a key component to providing patients with safe quality care and that’s why we are urging the hospital to comply with its own staffing matrix,” He went on to say, “It is also vital that nurses take their meal and rest breaks so we can remain alert and focused throughout our 12 hour shifts when caring for our patients. That’s another reason it’s so important for the hospital to comply with its staffing plan.”
According to that same statement, According to the hospital’s data, in a recent 3-month period (Nov. 23, 2014 – Feb. 28, 2015), RNs missed 4673 meal breaks.
The Oak Hill nurses are also asking the hospital to address the dismal wage conditions for RNs in Florida, which contribute to high turnover rates and loss of experienced RNs. Oak Hill can play a leadership role, nurses say, by aligning the hospital’s wages with the national average. Currently Florida RNs are paid $3.00 below the national average and although Florida is the third largest state it ranks 28th in terms of RN wages.
The 389 registered nurses at Oak Hill, affiliated with the National Nurses Organizing Committee, NNOC/FL, are in ongoing contract negotiations with management and their contract expired May 31, 2015.
We spoke to Oak Hill Hospital Spokesperson Rich Linkul, who provided the following statement:
“We want to be sure that our community understands that neither this nor any other action will ever come between us and our commitment to the very best in care and services to our patients. Oak Hill Hospital is recognized with consistent “A” Patient Safety Scores by The Leapfrog Group and by the Joint Commission as a Top Performer in Key Quality Measures. Furthermore, we are recipients of numerous national awards in Emergency Care, are Joint Commission certified in hip, knee and spine plus offer our community certified programs in heart and cancer care.
We are currently scheduled to resume bargaining on September 15-16, 2015 and look forward to continuing these discussions with the union at that time.”
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