STATEWIDE — Members of National Nurses United, which includes nurses around the state, are calling on the government and hospitals to instate policies that promote safe staffing.
Meg Dionne, a registered nurse in the emergency department at Maine Medical Center, said they would like OSHA to bring back the emergency standard of care, which would give hospitals the framework for reporting COVID cases, exposures to staff and necessary personal protective equipment.
She said they are also asking the hospitals for better staffing.
“If there’s not nurses to care for patients, then patients are gonna suffer. If there’s not enough nurses in the hospital, then the increase in negative things happening, an increase in workplace violence, increase in negative patient outcomes,” Dionne said. “We’re showing up every day, but the hospitals need to recruit and retain nursing staff in the long run, not just temporarily.”
Dionne said nurses are leaving because they are stretched too thin and the physical and mental toll is impacting their daily lives.
According to Dionne, there is not a shortage of nurses in general, there is a shortage of nurses who are willing to work in unsafe environments.
She is hoping hospital administrators will meet them in the middle.