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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

nvironment that has caused unrest within the nursing community at the hospital, one that the nurses say needs to change if BMC is to maintain its reputation as a first rate medical center.  

"Nurses are the backbone of any hospital, but our nursing management seems intent on breaking the backs of nurses," said Driscoll.  "Our members have made it clear that we can't take this anymore, and we will do whatever is necessary to protect our patients."  

The nurses are further outraged that he hospital has made these cuts while providing the outgoing CEO with a $3.5 million bonus.  The nurses are hopeful that with the recent introduction of a new CEO, Kate Walsh, much needed changes will be made.  

Issues Specific to Tufts Medical Center

At Tufts Medical Center, even at current staffing levels, nurses have reported difficulty providing the level of care patients deserve.  However, in the last six months the hospital has engaged a high priced consulting firm to develop a "new model" of care with a principal economic goal of cutting the amount of money ($34 per patient day or $3 million) spent on patient care.

The planned cuts involve limiting the amount of care provided by registered nurses, with RNs forced to care for more patients on almost every unit.  In fact, according to the Mass. Hospital Association's "Patients First" web site, many units at Tufts will have the lowest nurse staffing levels of any similar-sized hospital in the city.

The consultants used by Tufts are typical of consultants used during the 1990s to redesign how nursing care was delivered with disastrous results.  At that time, there wasn't a shred of research to support such changes in staffing.  Now
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SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association
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