Interview with Lesley Ester, RN and Chief Nurse Representative for the California Nurses Association, by Ryan Hutson.
Yesterday, nurses at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka held an informational picket from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in front of the hospital. According to Lesley Ester, RN and Chief Nurse Representative for the California Nurses Association, the hospital is beginning new telemetry units for cardiac patients that don’t have the technology and the trained nurses to operate safely.
Ester said that the nurses are concerned that cardiac patients in the new units will not get the care they need. In an earlier statement made by the union, she said, “The training and education is not complete, the technology is not in place, the policies haven’t even been written, but the Hospital is rushing forward despite admitting there is no deadline to get this done.”
Nurses say they have proposed delaying the start of the new units until the necessary training is completed and the technology is upgraded.
In the above video, Ester added, “The nurses are out there not for any gain of their own but to make sure their patients are safe.”
Christian P. Hill, spokesperson for St. Joseph Hospital sent us the following prepared statement:
We are proud of the high quality, safe and compassionate care our hospital clinical teams provide to our patients. In our continued efforts to transform health care and improve the care experience, we have developed a new care model that is patient-centric, and benefits all involved in the care continuum.
We’ve heard from patients, families, physicians and caregivers that the current model of patient transfers from the Progressive Care Unit (PCU) to the Medical Surgical Unit (Med Surg) when more intense monitoring is no longer needed, fragments care and makes communication more challenging. The changes we are implementing will address this issue. We delayed these changes from the planned date in mid-September to October 5 in order to provide additional time for discussion with CNA representatives.
It is important to note that a picket is not a strike and does not impact patient care in any way; we are fully staffed and here to care for our community.