MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Nurses at Mount Vernon Hospital and members of the New York State Nurses Association Wednesday morning protested what they called unsafe conditions at the hospital.
Nurses taped together 3,000 pieces of assignment paper and also circled the hospital to demonstrate the number of times they said unsafe conditions have been reported. Eileen Schneider, assistant director of NYSNA, said each paper represents a nurse who came to work and found unsafe conditions for her patients.
Calls to the hospital for comment were not returned Wednesday.
With Westchester Medical Center poised to take over Mount Vernon Hospital and Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle, Schneider said the hospital has had complaints as well.
“They gutted the behavioral health section and laid off every single tech-trained person,” Schneider said. “They brought in a private company and did not intra-staff training. They laid off nurses and filled the gap with agency nurses who are not oriented to the same procedures as everyday nurses.”
Tom Lowe, the Health and Safety Representative for NYSNA, said the idea of the rally was to bring awareness to the fact that Mount Vernon Hospital could close if the deal with Westchester Medical Center falls through.
“Westchester Medical Center may be a lifeline for Mount Vernon Hospital who together can help resolve these issues,” Lowe said. “Part of the reason for Mount Vernon Hospital’s troubles are administrative and economic. It’s not about the weather, it’s about healthcare. We want to change the direction healthcare is going to keep our patients safe.”
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