Alvarado Hospital Nurses Hold Candlelight Vigil for Safe Patient Careâ€” Wednesday
For Immediate Release
May 31, 2011
Registered nurses at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego will hold a candlelight vigil Wednesday, June 1, to highlight their concerns with staffing and patient care standards at the hospital, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United announced today.
The 350 RNs have been in negotiations for a new contract for three months where the central issues revolve around the ability of RNs to provide safe patient care. These include: a panel to enforce nurse-to-patient staffing disputes, a safe floating policy where nurses won’t be forced to work in a unit outside their competencies, and a dedicated lift team to diminish back injuries. According to national studies, nurses, who are often lifting large patients without proper assistance, incur more back and neck injuries than truck drivers.
Another patient safety related proposal being put forward by the nurses is a minimum rest period in between shifts. Nurses work 12-hour shifts, but currently there is no clear rest period language in their contract. Currently, if a nurse is on call and comes in to work one shift, she could potentially work 18 hours within a 24-hour period without a break.
“The nurses have spent many years building a contract that includes the power to advocate for our patients, the community, and improved working conditions that will attract and retain experienced RNs,” said Maricela Mauricio, an RN at the hospital and a member of the nurse bargaining committee