Thursday, March 19, 2009

News Release: Lappin & NYS Nurses Hold Vigil at Goldwater Hospital

The following is the text of a news release from NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin:

Lappin and New York State Nurses Association hold vigil at Coler-Goldwater Hospital

Council Member Jessica Lappin joined with the New York State Nurses Association and a representative from Assemblyman Micah Kellner’s office on Thursday morning for a vigil outside the Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital & Nursing Facilities to protest management’s decision to eliminate alternate work schedules.

Two years ago, the hospital management allowed nurses to choose between working five 8-hour shifts or more flexible 12-hour shifts three to four days a week. The 12-hour shifts proved to be a popular choice and helped recruit many new nurses to the hospitals. In fact, other HHC hospitals are moving toward adopting the alternate work schedule for that reason.

After two years of successfully implementing this schedule, the management is now forcing everyone to return to a five-day schedule. Considering our city’s nursing shortage and the fierce competition amongst hospitals to hire and retain nurses, this seems like a foolhardy decision.

This change will also drive nurses away from these hospitals at a time when a hiring freeze prevents new nurses from being added. As a result, nurses who plan to remain at the hospital expect to see their workloads rise even further with no relief in sight.

“We need to look at what’s best for the patients of this hospital and what’s best for the nurses who work there. Neither of those groups are being well served by this switch,” Council Member Lappin said. “I strongly urge the hospital to rethink its decision.”

“The decision to eliminate the alternative work schedule at Coler-Goldwater punishes the hard-working nurses who devote their lives to caring for their patients and the patients themselves,” said Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner. “Coler-Goldwater must reconsider its options during this time of hardship and make the choice that does the most good for all involved.”

“I’m committed to my patients here a Goldwater, but I’m also committed to my family,” said Keron Capleton, an RN at Goldwater for 16 years. “By eliminating the alternate work schedule, the hospital is forcing me to choose between the two.”
For more info contact the Office of Council Member Jessica Lappin at (212) 788-6865. Picture provided by John Moore of Jessica Lappin's office.

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