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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

floor, would put these patients at a much greater risk for serious complications.  

Nurses on other floors have seen their patient assignments increase.  In addition, the hospital is staffing at a bare bones level and is making up for the shortage of staff by the use of widespread "floating" of nurses, a process that involves moving nurses from unit to unit.  In the intensive care units, where the patients require the most attention and observation, some units are staffed so that more than half the nurses are floats who are not as familiar with the unit.  

In the last several months, the nurses have filed dozens of official reports of inadequate staffing conditions at the facility, and some have reported that these conditions compromised the care of their patients.

In a letter opposing the staffing changes sent to the Board of Trustees, which was signed by the majority of the nurses working in BMC's ICUs, the nurses wrote, "We implore hospital management to address the situation and avert dangerous conditions and tragic patient outcomes we fear may occur." ·

Driscoll pointed out that the hospital's Vice President of Nursing, Lisa O'Connor, has refused to work with the nurses through a legally binding process at the hospital to set appropriate staffing levels.  For more than a decade, the union and management worked together, under contract language negotiated during the last staffing crisis in the late 1990s, which established a staffing tribunal made up of union nurses and management with the expressed purpose of setting safe and appropriate staffing levels.  However, O'Connor has failed to work through the tribunal, and is instead pushing for unilateral changes over the objections of those providing the care.  

In addition to failing to provide a safe working environment, O'Connor has employed a number of oppressive management practices, creating a punitive e
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SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association
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