Quincy Medical Center Nurses Appeal to Public for Help In Convincing Management to Provide Safe Staffing
The registered nurses at Quincy Medical Center, who are represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, have decided to appeal directly to the public for support in convincing their management to adhere to staffing levels promised to the nurses and the public, staffing levels that are necessary for the delivery of safe patient care. The effort was launched today with the publication of a full page ad in the Quincy Patriot Ledger. The ad explains how the hospital and the nurses had worked out a contractual agreement spelling out specific RN staffing levels, with specific limits on the number of patients assigned to a nurse for each area of the hospital. The hospital had published these same staffing levels on a Massachusetts Hospital Association web page which is meant to serve as a promise to the public of what they should expect for staffing upon entering the hospital.
For months the hospital has failed to adhere to these staffing levels, forcing nurses to care for too many patients, thereby placing patients at an increased risk for injury or complications. In addition, the hospital has recently instituted layoffs of staff and the restructuring of how care is delivered in a number of areas of the hospital, which, according to the nurses, has made the situation more dangerous. Prior to placing the ad, the nurses have spent months trying to convince management to follow the staffing plan and to provide the conditions that would allow patients to receive the care they deserve.
After failing to convince management to do the right thing, the nurses next appealed to the Board of Trustees, requesting a meeting to explain their concerns and to seek assistance in correcting the situation before a tragedy occurs. After the Board refused to meet with the nurses, they felt they had no choice but to appeal to the public as they have the most to lose if the current conditions are allowed to continue.