Nurses picket Osceola Regional Hospital to demand better work conditions


A registered nurse protests outside Osceola Regional Medical Center, holding NNU's signature sign on April 1, 2020. - PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL NURSES UNITED
  • Photo courtesy of National Nurses United
  • A registered nurse protests outside Osceola Regional Medical Center, holding NNU's signature sign on April 1, 2020.

Registered nurses gathered outside of the Osceola Regional Medical Center 
on Monday to demand proper staffing and voice patient safety concerns.

The demonstrations at the ORMC was part of a national picket organized by National Nurses United, the largest union of registered nurses.

The organization said RNs have experienced consistent problems that go from administrator violating their own staffing rules to cutting support staff.
The personnel shortage puts an extra burden on nurses, which ultimately affects patients.

“When nurses miss a meal or rest break during a shift in which we are already stressed by short staffing, we are not well rested; it increases the risk of mistakes,” said nurse Jennifer Caldwell in a press release. “Rest breaks are critical to ensuring safe care for our patients.”

Elisabeth Matheiu, a nurse in the ER at the ORMC, attended the picket and said many of her colleagues have left the hospital because of burnout.

“I just got off work. And it’s been grueling. Meaning twelve hours non-stop. And I can tell you. I can certify. Non-stop with no break. Last night there was no break, no lunch, no rest. It’s been bad. Terrible," Matheiu told WMFE.

Marissa Lee, another nurse in the labor and delivery unit at OMRC, said she has worked on mothers and babies who have tested positive for COVID-19, without fresh PPE, the necessary equipment to prevent transmission.

At the moment, the institutions affiliated with the Hospital Coorporation of America are in talks with NNU to close an agreement that could strengthen measures to keep staffing standard and working condition in check for current nurses and incoming ones.

The organization said nurses have faced many difficulties during the pandemic and changes to recognize their sacrifice needs to be addressed.

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