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Nurses concerned safe patient care may suffer

By Contributor
May 8th, 2012

B.C. Nurses Union has learned that over the past weekend three of the seven hospitalists contracted to work at Eagle Ridge Hospital were not onsite.

Hospitalists are physicians who provide care to patients within the hospital setting.

The patients they care for are often patients who do not have a family doctor or whose own doctor does not have “admitting privileges” at that hospital.

“Nurses are very concerned because this means that patients will have to wait longer in emergency, and it could further contribute to delays in admissions and discharges,” said Debbie Picco, BCNU Regional Chair for the Simon Fraser Region.

“Our members are also upset because they may not be able to access a physician to provide orders for treatments for their patients when they need them. This could impact the safe provision of care which is utmost in our members’ minds.”

Apparently these doctors have been told not to come back to the hospital but the BCNU has been unable to confirm their status with the Fraser Health Authority.

Janice Buchanan, Vice-President of the BC Nurses’ Union said:

“Our members are distressed because there are still the same numbers of beds and patients. If you take away this valuable and unique professional support that nurses and patients rely on with no apparent plan for the provision of care, quality of care and safety of patients is at risk.”

BCNU is calling on the facility to put a clear plan of action in place to ensure that nurses and hospitalists have the staffing levels they need in order to provide safe care.

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