Oshawa Surgical Nurses Worried About Patient Care:

RNs call for an independent assessment of staffing levels

OSHAWA, ON, April 4 /CNW/ - Registered nurses (RNs) working at the Lakeridge Health's Oshawa 36-bed in-patient surgical unit have taken their concerns about RN staffing levels being inadequate for safe patient care to the next level - an Independent Assessment Committee Hearing will investigate the matter in a hearing to be held April 5 to 7.

The RNs - members of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) - believe the highly acute nature and the complex condition of patients in this unit means they require the skills the knowledge that registered nurses possess.

"ONA members are seriously concerned about their patients' well-being and care," says President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "The patients in this unit have unpredictable outcomes and are at risk of suffering from complications. RN staff levels on this unit simply aren't high enough to safely care for this number of patients, most of whom are post-surgical, need pain management and other complex treatments and care."

Haslam-Stroud says RNs working on the unit must be able to frequently monitor and reassess their patients' fluctuating conditions to ensure a positive health outcome.

Since 2009, the RNs have been waiting for their employer to implement the "all-RN skills mix" for this unit that the hospital itself identified was required. But multiple changes to Lakeridge Health's leadership team have been a major barrier to moving forward.

An Independent Assessment Committee hearing will take place in April. This means that a three-person panel will hear both the hospital and the nurses make their cases regarding staffing levels and the skills mix in the unit. The panel will then discuss the issues and return with a report and recommendations for resolving the issue.

ONA is the union representing 55,000 front-line RNs and allied health professionals and more than 12,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics


SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information:

  Ontario Nurses' Association
Melanie Levenson    (416) 964-1979, ext. 2369
Ruth Featherstone    (416) 964-1979, ext. 2267

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