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Tufts Medical Center and Boston Medical Center Nurses Hold a Joint Informational Picket to Protest Unsafe Staffing and Practice Conditions
Date:2/11/2010

ing a growing trend as the hospital industry attempts to exploit a challenging economic climate to cut costs and to boost their profit margins by cutting nursing staff.  The same tactics were employed during the 1990s. At that time this response to the advent of managed care, resulted in a dramatic deterioration in the quality and safety of care in hospitals and also resulted in thousands of preventable patient deaths across the country.  Nurses, who have been through this failed strategy before, are not going to allow hospitals to make the same dangerous mistakes again without a fight.  This picket is the beginning of that effort.  

Boston Medical Center, which is a level one trauma center, and Tufts Medical Center, which has a level one pediatric trauma and level two adult trauma center, care for some of the sickest patients in the Commonwealth, requiring a more intense level of nursing care to keep patients safe.  At current staffing levels, nurses contend it has been a struggle to provide the level of care patients deserve.  Now, both hospitals are proposing and implementing staffing

changes that increase the number of patients assigned to many of their nurses, and neither facility is adequately adjusting their level of nursing care based on "patient acuity," which is the actual needs or illness level of the patients.  At both facilities, nurses believe management is pushing staff to move patients through the hospital faster and faster without providing the resources to support this speed up in care delivery.  

Issues Specific to Boston Medical Center

The hospital is seeking to increase the number of patients assigned to nurses in the critical care areas.  On one unit, where traditionally nurses have cared for no more than two patients at a time, the hospital is now demanding that nurses take a third patient, which, given the condition of the patients on this
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SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association
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