News & Events

Corporate greed trumps patient care

View Telegram & Gazette Editorial here


Friday, March 11, 2011

Corporate greed trumps patient care

After reading a letter to the editor, “Picketing nurses’ concerns unfounded” (Telegram & Gazette, March 1) regarding St. Vincent Hospital nurses, I feel compelled to respond.

I have been a registered nurse working at St. Vincent Hospital on a medical/surgical unit for over 24 years. On a daily basis, we are forced to care for too many acutely ill patients at one time, compromising their care and our professional licensure. The frantic pace required of us leaves little time for the true nursing care that our patients and their families deserve and that we want to give. We cannot stand by and let Vanguard, a for-profit corporation, dishonor our patients and profession in this way. The stakes are too high, with patients’ lives resting in our hands. So, whether at the bedside or on the picket line, you will find us standing up for our patients and advocating for safe staffing. This is our professional and ethical responsibility. To do anything less would be shameful.


At the conclusion of our last contract negotiations, over four years ago, I was optimistic that we had achieved some modest staffing enhancements that would significantly improve our ability to provide safer care. It saddens me to report that the nurses of St. Vincent Hospital believe the care to be inadequate at best, and unsafe on most days they come to work. We have faithfully shared our concerns with the hospital administration on a daily basis. It is clear to me that Vanguard has chosen to place a higher value on profits , than they do on providing an adequate amount of nurses to care for patients. Fewer nurses at the bedside and a dramatic speedup in our work has led to a dire situation in our hospital. We cannot quietly sit by and allow corporate greed to trump the provision of safe care. We are all stakeholders in this fight!