Unsafe Staffing – Today’s Story

17 Aug

MNA Nurses fill out hundreds of Concern For Safe Staffing forms online each month. The story below is just one example of how unsafe staffing conditions inside Minnesota hospitals continue to have negative – and sometimes even deadly – consequences for patients and nurses. (Note: Due to HIPAA privacy laws for patients and concerns for potential workplace retaliation by employers against RNs, we do not identify the specific nurse and/or patient(s) involved in each story in this space.)

“As a charge nurse, I refused to take any more pts on the unit until after 2300. I was concerned that if a patient became critical, I would not be able to help. The unit was already overburdened with 5 new admissions and 2 transfers out of the unit. We had no support staff for unit coordination or assistance in answering the phone, transcribing orders, etc. The nursing assistants were unable to keep up with patient needs. Simultaneously, I received a call from the lab that a patient who had been discharged had positive blood cultures (bacterial infection) that needed to be treated so I had to contact the patient and the physician and complete all the documentation on the chart. This is an on-going scenario every weekend for weeks now, with no relief by providing additional staff. Nurses are angry, frustrated and leave in tears. This is not OK.”

2 Responses to “Unsafe Staffing – Today’s Story”

  1. Cari August 17, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    That is unfortunate, I think management will continue to allow staffing to run like your example until a patient is injured. Staff must speak up, if they don’t nothing will change. Management is saving money by short-staffing units and as long as nurses continue to tolerate it, it won’t change. Really, do they care if you are happy? No, I think they care more that the work is gettig done. If you quit, you can be replaced …probably with a new grad that will cost less. Good for you for refusing more patients, I am curious…were you able to close your unit…or what did the supervisor say?

  2. RN August 18, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Wish our charge nurses would advocate for us, they don’t

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