ER nurses object to staff reductions at Boston hospital

Union nurses are protesting changes at Newton (Ma.)-Wellesley Hospital after officials cut a nurse from each shift in the emergency room earlier this month, according to the Boston Business Journal.

Nurses who cared for three to four patients will now be responsible for four to six after the cuts, Massachusetts Nursing Association spokesperson David Schildmeier told the Business Journal.

Wait times in the ER have increased notably since then, from an hour to two or three hours in a week, according to Laurie Andersen, a charge nurse in the Newton-Wellesley ER.

Hospital spokesperson Brian O'Dea told the Business Journal that wait times depend more on the number of beds rather than the number of nurses. The ER has been overstaffed, Mr. O'Dea said, and a flexible leadership team can adjust staffing if volume requires it.

No nurses have been laid off, according to the report.

The hospital is in the process of negotiating a new nursing contract with the Massachusetts Nursing Association after it expired in September. The previous contract was extended during the negotiations.

 

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