Nurses slam RI hospital management over COVID-related operational changes

Friday, December 31, 2021

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PHOTO: file

One of the reasons the Rhode Island Hospital suffers from a staff shortage may be related to its difficult relationship with the Nurses Union.

At the moment, doctors in the emergency services say the situation is serious.

United Nurses and Allied Professionals Rhode Island Hospital Local 5098 president Frank Sims, RN on Thursday released a very critical statement regarding the operational changes made by the directors.


Sims said, “Regarding the significant operational changes made to the Rhode Island Hospital to accommodate an influx of new patients amid staff shortages. Multiple measures have been taken to stretch resources at Lifespan Hospitals. Specifically, the Rhode Island Hospital is:

– increase nurse / patient ratios
– place intensive care unit (ICU) patients in non-traditional intensive care units and convert intermediate care units into intensive care units
– the association of the Surgical Resuscitation Unit and the Traumatological Resuscitation Unit.
– redeploy nurses and other health professionals from the catheterization laboratory, electrophysiology laboratory, main operating room and outpatient surgery center to other parts of the hospital.
– limit the amount of transfers from other hospitals.

Sims added, “The hospital had no choice but to make these changes. There are simply not enough staff to handle the number of patients arriving at the hospital. We want to be very clear on what these changes mean for the health and safety of all Rhode Islanders. This means that our state’s healthcare system has reached a breaking point, forcing our largest hospital to take drastic action to try and meet the needs of Rhode Islanders in need of medical attention. This means that if you or a loved one has a medical emergency – whether or not related to COVID – there may or may not be a bed for you depending on the severity of the wave. This means longer waiting times. This means that nurses and other exhausted healthcare workers are taking care of you or your loved one. “

Sims continued, “Hospital workers in Rhode Island are going out of their way to help with this transition – but it’s running out for these frontline healthcare workers, who have now been in this pandemic for two years. Staff are stressed, overworked, exhausted and are now forced to accept more patients. At least a dozen nurses will be asked to switch from work days to work nights to adjust to these changes. And we have no idea how long it’s going to last. “

“We call on the governor to immediately deploy the National Guard to assist in any way possible. We also request that the documentation requirements be changed to crisis level documentation, allowing health workers to spend more time treating patients and less time to do And finally, we support all efforts that will help retain healthcare workers in the hospital, including the use of federal funds for retention bonuses or hiring bonuses , paid annually by management, which will keep healthcare workers employed in the hospital for years to come, ”said Sims.

Lifetime – parent company of Rhode Island Hospital – spokeswoman Kathleen Hart did not respond to requests for comment.

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