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Nurses to Rally at Florida Medical Center Over Hospital Conditions

Press Release, 2/3/12

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Management Refuses to Fully Address Safety, Staffing, Standards-- Say RNs

Fort Lauderdale - Registered Nurses, members of the National Nurses Organizing Committee-Florida and National Nurses United -- the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the country, with 170,000 members -- will hold a Respect Registered Nurses  rally at The Florida Medical Center campus (FMC) of North Shore Medical Center – a Tenet hospital.   There are 238 RNs on staff at FMC.

RNs are holding the rally to draw attention to a host of concerns about hospital conditions--- including safety, proper staffing levels and overall patient care standards.   RNs have been advocating for improvements in these areas and management has been largely unresponsive.
“This really is about patient care,” said Chrystel Willis, RN and member of the negotiating team.   “We deserve to be heard.  We know we’ve earned that respect.”

What:  Respect Registered Nurses  rally on safety, staffing and standards
Where: In front of the main entrance of the hospital, 5000 West Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale (Intersection of NW 49th)
When:  Monday, February 6 at 8:30am

In the course of current contract negotiations, the RNs proposed a set of safe patient care principles intended to improve RN-to-patient staffing so that FMC meets national nursing guidelines.   These guidelines underpin the essentials of patient care.    The proposed set of principles also addresses significant issues related to the use of technology, as well as assistance in the proper and safe lifting of patients, and the nurses’ right to refuse unsafe patient assignments.

A recent incident of workplace violence, in which a nurse was badly beaten, prompted RNs to propose the creation of a Task Force on Workplace Violence & Safety to address growing concerns surrounding safety.  Higher staffing levels – consistent with national guidelines -- would make patient care assignments more manageable, allowing nurses to better observe patients-- including those with the greatest potential for violence.  This, in turn, say nurses, would reduce instances of workplace violence.

“Improved nurse-to-patient staffing standards translate into nurses having more time to spend with each patient.  With more time we can improve patient care significantly while making the hospital a safer place.  It’s that simple,” said Willis. “We urge North Shore-FMC management to adopt our plan to convene a Task Force and to respect the voices of FMC nurses.”

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