US Nurses to Picket Over Failure to Create Safer Patient Care Conditions
Registered nurses represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association at Falmouth Hospital will hold an informational picket on May 26 to call attention to Cape Cod Healthcare executives refusing to negotiate a new contract that creates safer patient care conditions.
A contract agreement is hinging on the nurses’ proposal for a charge nurse without an assignment. This would contribute significantly to making patient care conditions safer at both Cape Cod and Falmouth hospitals by ensuring charge nurses can coordinate the overall needs of patients, nurses, and the flow on each individual floor/unit. A charge nurse should also be available to assist less experienced nurses with more complex cases, while also picking up patient assignments when staff become overburdened.
The nurses’ latest version of their safe staffing proposal gave the hospital until the signing of the next contract (at least four years) to solidify language around a charge nurse without an assignment. This was a significant compromise because staffing conditions are critical right now, but nurses are making every effort to reach an agreement. CCH executives rejected this compromise.
Michelle Blum, a nurse at Cape Cod Hospital, said ‘Nurses are overwhelmed. The patient assignments are too burdensome to give the care patients deserve.’ Another nurse, Kristi Dyott, claimed that some nurses were carng for 5-7 patients at a time, and there is no cover for the occasions when one critically ill patient takes up all a nurse’s time.
During the three quarters before Decmber 31st 2021, Falmouth Hospital made $10.2 million in profit at an 19.7% margin, and Cape Cod made $18.3 million at an 11.2% margin.