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Nurses dedicated to patient safety

Friday, May 20, 2011
Nurses dedicated to patient safety

This is in response to “A safe hospital” (Telegram & Gazette, May 3).

As a St. Vincent Hospital nurse for 32 years, and a Worcester resident for my whole life, I take offense to the comment, “If there were serious problems one would see a higher nurse turnover.”

No sir, we will not leave. It all started in the 1990s when St. Vincent Hospital was sold to for-profit companies, Vanguard being the third. In 1998, the Massachusetts Nurses Association was voted in by nurses drowning in the for-profit changes. With the help of the MNA, and the solidarity of our nurses, we fought them due to forced overtime. Since then we have been fighting for the safety of our patients and safe working conditions for our nurses. We have seen owners, administrators and managers come and go, but the St. Vincent Hospital nurses will always remain.

As a member of the negotiation team, I can say our committee has met with the hospital days, nights and weekends, to settle this contract to avoid a strike. I know there are two sides to every story, but the nurses caring for the patients at the bedside have the true knowledge of the staffing needs to care for their patients, not the Vanguard CEO Joseph Mullaney. We are willing to do what we need to do for our patients, doctors, co-workers and community to keep our hospital safe today and forever.