Northside Nurses Say New Hospital Wing Can Benefit Community

         Northside Nurses Say New Hospital Wing Can Benefit Community

But Management Must Abandon Plan to "Ration" Nurses

PR Newswire

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, June 19, 2013

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The union
representing nurses at Northside Medical Center said a new addition to the
hospital has the potential to benefit the community, but only if the company
that owns the facility backs off on a staffing model that could hurt the
patient care and instead treats nurses as a partner in providing quality
patient care.

Community Health Systems Inc., the Nashville, Tenn.-based corporation that
owns Northside, announced this week that it plans to break ground next month
on a new $20 million addition, including a 30,000-square-foot addition to the
emergency room.

"The planned new wing at Northside will either be a tremendous community asset
or a white elephant," said Kelly Trautner, deputy executive officer of the
Ohio Nurses Association. "It all depends on whether CHS continues to insist on
its misguided proposal for a staffing system that could essentially ration
nursing care, or whether they decide to treat nurses as partners in quality

"What good is a brand-spanking new building if it comes at the cost of
reducing the quality of patient care in other parts of the hospital?" Trautner
added. "We have urged CHS to back away from the proposed staffing plan it
offered during recent negotiations. You don't get quality care with a plan
that could result in rationing nursing care."

At issue is CHS's plan to adopt a staffing model at Northside in which nurses
could be told not to come in or sent home on short notice when there are fewer
patients than anticipated—and then called back if the patient count suddenly

Northside nurses are nearing their 12^th month without a new contract. ONA has
been urging CHS to work together with nurses to reach an agreement that will
continue the facility's excellent record of quality patient care.

Trautner said that in anticipation of a higher patient load, CHS is
considering adding nursing staff for the emergency room. "But we hope that in
their planning, theywill put the same focuson the importance of adequate
nurse/patient ratios throughout the hospital," she said.

SOURCE Ohio Nurses Association
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