Nurses Plan Candlelight Vigil in Redding December 28 to Raise Community Awareness of Patient Care Concerns at Shasta Regional Medical Center
Registered Nurses at Shasta Regional Medical Center (SRMC) in Redding will hold a candlelight vigil Thursday, December 28, to draw the community's attention to critical patient care issues SRMC management and Prime Healthcare Services, the parent company, have refused to address in a timely manner.
RNs have flagged numerous issues eroding the quality and safety of patient care at SRMC. These include: faulty and broken equipment throughout the facility, including computers, vitals monitors, and other machines essential to the care of critical care patients; operation of the hospital for nearly one year without a fully functioning pharmacy at night leading to delays in delivery of necessary medications; the continual loss of experienced nursing staff due to management's failure to rectify ongoing problems at the hospital. Since September 2017, RNs have submitted reports documenting 261 instances of unsafe or substandard patient care conditions at SRMC.
What: Candlelight Vigil for Quality Patient Care at Shasta Regional Medical Center
When: Thursday, Dec. 28. 5:15 - 7:15 pm
Where: Corner of East Street and Butte Street, Redding, Calif
“The nurses in this hospital are deeply committed to providing quality patient care to this community," said Stacey Kelley, RN, Surgical Unit. "Prime Healthcare and SRMC management have allowed the quality of patient care to become substandard. We welcome the community to join us at our vigil, so that together we can win the changes needed at SRMC to give our patients the quality health care they deserve.”
“Without a fully functioning night pharmacy we need to search throughout the hospital for available medications or go through a lengthy approval process to call in an off-site pharmacist," said Michelle Gaffney, RN, Critical Care. “The hospital is open 24/7 and on holidays and a fully functioning, staffed in-house pharmacy is fundamental to our ability to provide quality patient care. SRMC has promised to have a pharmacist on site in January and we will continue to advocate until the crucial need of a fully functioning night pharmacy is met."
"Nurses need working equipment to accurately monitor patients with acute conditions and administer medications appropriately," said Kara Gardner, RN, Emergency Room. "It has gotten so bad, we sometimes have to manually hold plugs in the socket for the equipment to function! When we need to try several different machines to find a functioning computer or a vitals machine, that’s time that our patients are not receiving the quality care they deserve.”
The eroding conditions contribute to the hospital's high staff turnover rate, which in turn, exacerbates problems with patient care conditions, and to break this negative cycle, say nurses, it is vital that SRMC take the actions necessary to recruit and retain RNs. According to the hospital's own data, 68 percent of the RN staff have been at SRMC for less than five years, including 44 percent that have worked there for two years or less, and 28 percent that have worked there for one year or less.
Patient care concerns, including safe staffing, and the hospital's high turnover rate, galvanized the SRMC registered nurses to organize this past year and vote by an overwhelming margin in September to join the California Nurses Association /National Nurses United, the state’s largest nurses union and professional association. The California Nurses Association has 100,000 members statewide. CNA is affiliated with National Nurses United, the largest and fastest growing union of RNs in the nation. CNA/NNU has won landmark health and safety protections for nurses and patients in the areas of staffing, safe patient handling, infectious disease and workplace violence protection.