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Safe and effective care

Bangor Daily News, 5/30/12

The Eastern Maine Medical Center nurses contract fight is about more than just winning a good contract for our members. When a nurse has 16 hours of work to complete in a 12 hour period of time, her work can’t be left for tomorrow. This is the struggle our nurses face on a day-to-day basis. As patients come to us sicker, with more needs, and as responsibilities increase, staffing levels remain inadequate and uncertain.

Management does not want to address these issues with even the discussion of resource nurses to alleviate some of the added burdens to staff, ensure safety of and augment the experience and outcomes of our patients. It’s our mandate to advocate for our patients.

Management refuses language addressing our acute concerns regarding safety in the emergency department; safety for our patients, community and staff. Management expressed their opinion that our most experienced nurses don’t warrant additional compensation for their advanced skills. We disagree. Many have worked years without any additional raise. Management has yet to respond to key language protecting nurses when deciding whether they are safe to work the shift after working long call hours.

This is language that management previously applied to one unit with burdensome call hours, and we believe that it should be universal as a measure of safety for all patients and staff. With the changes occurring in health care, it’s imperative that nurses retain the ability to advocate for the communities we serve and ensure safe and effective care.

Jessie Mellott

EMMC nurse

Brewer

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Source article.

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