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Health & Medicine

PeaceHealth Nurses Call Staffing Policies Inadequate And Dangerous

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PeaceHealth RiverBend
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Nurses and doctors PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center have a problem with inadequate staffing. They say "staff to patient ratios" are insufficient and lead to more errors, infections and injuries. Now they've started an online petition to get the community involved.

When a nurse notices a patient had to wait too long for pain management because there weren't enough nurses on the floor—it's recorded on a Staffing Request and Documentation Form or SRDF. According to the Oregon Nurses Association, caregivers at Sacred Heart have documented more cases of insufficient staffing than at any other facility in the state.

Rajeev Alexander is a physician at PeaceHealth at Riverbend.

Alexander: “What I notice is that there does seem to be a sense of urgency all the time because everyone’s so busy. And yet, things seem to take longer.”

Dr. Alexander has seen the problem with staffing ratios grow over the years.

Alexander: “I want the best for my patients. And these nurses are the best thing that my patients can get and I would like to have the adequate number of nurses per patient.”

PeaceHealth caregivers have brought their grievances to managers and the board of directors. Recently, 800 nurses signed a petition to the CEO. They say they won't stop pushing for nurse staffing reforms. And with 45% of the state’s SRDF’s coming from Sacred Heart alone, Dr. Alexander hopes the *newest members of hospital management will respond to the nurse’s requests.

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