LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Nursing personnel put jobs at risk


The U-B article May 4 about the nursing home having received a G-rating from the state because of harm done to a patient illustrates one scenario showing why there is a shortage of nursing personnel. Day after day, as a nurse or nursing assistant accepts his shift of duty, his license and job are at stake depending on whether the administration provides adequate staff in order for the residents to get the quality of care they deserve.

Once a nurse or nursing assistant accepts his shift of duty, he often finds himself in a dilemma of whether to work his shift and take on the risks to his license and job when he sees his shift is understaffed and/or whether the prior shift has left things in disarray, having been pressured by administration not to work overtime to complete it.

The nurse or nursing assistant cannot walk away from his shift once he accepts it, for this would be abandoning those who are entrusted to his care.

It does not take research to logically conclude that preventable accidents are linked to understaffing. There is no excuse for understaffing. Did the administration really "do all that it could" within its power? Could any of the administration members who writes up policy and individual care plans have come in and assisted the nursing personnel? It does not take a license to check to make sure all residents are safe throughout the shift.

Sharon K. Schiller
Walla Walla


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