Press Release

Henry Mayo RNs Candlelight Vigil Wednesday to Protest Hospital Policy that Undermines Care

Registered nurses at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia, Ca., will hold a candlelight vigil Wednesday evening to protest facility policies they say undermines the quality of patient care, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United announced today.
Nurses are especially concerned about the outdated hospital practice of “team nursing,” which they say violates state law requiring minimum safe RN staffing for patients. A year after telling the public that the hospital would end this practice, nothing has changed at the hospital.

Who:          Henry Mayo RNs, concerned community, patients and families
What:         Candlelight Vigil
When:         Wednesday, February 29, 2012---5pm-8pm
Where:        Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, 23845 McBean Parkway, Valencia

Last April, Henry Mayo administrator, Larry Kidd, sent a memo to hospital nurses telling them that because of “patient care needs” the hospital was abandoning team nursing and “transitioning to a primary RN model.” At the time Henry Mayo RN’s applauded this development and called off a planned public protest.

Team nursing refers to group care provided by a mix of assorted staff given fragmented specific tasks rather than one on one holistic care for the patient provided directly by an RN.

Despite this pledge to change is policy, and repeated requests from CNA/NNU, which represents Henry Mayo’s 450 RN’s, the hospital has taken no concrete steps to end team nursing. During recent negotiations, the hospital has backslid on this promise completely.

“We give our absolute all to deliver the best care for every patient who walks through the door,” said Robbie Bailey, a registered nurse at Henry Mayo.  “But because the hospital is using far less trained ancillary staff as part of their cost cutting “team nursing” approach, we sometimes have unsafe ratios in medical and surgical units.

Patients should know that the nursing care they are being provided may not being delivered by an RN.

”RN Patient ratios are no academic matter. A 2010 study by the University of Pennsylvania found that 14% fewer surgical patients in New Jersey would have died if hospitals in those states had required the same number of nurses as is mandated by California law.

The contract for the Henry Mayo RNs is set to expire at midnight tonight. Negotiations between the hospital and CNA/NNU are also scheduled for tomorrow.

“They made a commitment to the community, and we have tried through the negotiating process to make them honor that commitment, with no results to date,” said Henry Mayo RN Brenda Monaco. “Its time for the hospital to send a message not only to the nurses, but also to the community that this is a safe hospital that treats its nurses fairly and is committed to providing the highest quality of care to it patients.”

The California Nurses Association/ National Nurses United, is the nation’s largest U.S. RN professional association and union, representing 170,000 RNs, including some 75,000 California nurses.