Hundreds rally for nurse and patient safety at Providence Sacred Heart

Hundreds rally for nurse and patient safety at Providence Sacred Heart
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Hundreds of registered nurses, patients and supporters in Spokane are demonstratomg for nurse and patienty safety to be a top priority before corporate profits.

1,900 registered nurses at Sacred Heart are taking their concerns about nurse staffing and safe patient care to the community they serve.

“This is not the first time Providence has tried to put profits over nurse and patient safety,” said Jan Bussert, President of the Washington State Nurses Association, which represents more then 17,000 nurses. “Across Washington, we hear of Providence suits from Seattle coming in to local contract negotiations and demanding nurses sacrifice more, more and more, ultimately putting patient safety on the line. We won’t let them do this to the nurses and patients at Sacred Heart.”

Those rallying are urging for:

Safe staffing levels: nurses want each unit in Sacred Heart Medical Center’s facilities to maintain staffing levels, including during meal and rest periods, that ensure safe patient care and the safety of the nurses. This includes safe staffing on the hospital floor, but also staffing that allows nurses to take rest and meal breaks as well as adequate staffing so that nurses can take their paid time off.
Safe, rested nurses: time off to spend with family and friends as well as the ability to take sick days.

“We’d do anything to save more lives and heal more people because we’re nurses. That’s why we got into these jobs,” said Clint Wallace, an ICU nurse at Sacred Heart. “But when I’m working through enture shifts with no break or can’t take time off, it isn’t just bad for me, it’s bad for my patients.”

In response to the topics of concern for Sacred Heart nurses, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center released the following statement:

Our management team and our represented employees all share the same goal of providing the best possible care to our patients. We all want this to be the best place to work and the best place to go for care — when we stay focused on why we were called to serve in the health care field, we accomplish great things together.

In regard to the nurses’ rally for paid time off, Providence said it is adapting its benefits packages. Under the new plans proposed for 2020, experienced nurses would be allowed up to 35 days, or a total of seven weeks, of paid time-off to use for vacation, holidays and their own illness, or to care for a sick family member.

In response to the need for meal breaks, Providence stated the break system in place currently is “proven to be a safe model of care, and is regularly recognized as one of the top hospitals in Washington State for quality of care outcomes.” According to Providence, “only 5 percent of breaks or meals are missed; those missed are compensated with overtime pay.”

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