Nurses to petition Tenet hospital CEO over elimination of IV therapy team

Members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association plan to deliver a petition to the CEO of Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Mass., urging the hospital to rescind the decision to eliminate the intravenous therapy team.

The union represents about 25,000 nurses in Massachusetts, according to an Oct. 26 news release shared with Becker's. Carolyn Jackson serves as CEO of Saint Vincent, which is part of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare. 

Union members plan to deliver the petition to Ms. Jackson on Oct. 27. 

The petition reads, in part: "We, the undersigned registered nurses of Saint Vincent Hospital hereby call upon Tenet administration to rescind its callous and dangerous decision to eliminate our specially trained and highly skilled IV Therapy Team. These professionals provide a valuable service to the hospital, our physicians and our patients and their elimination will only serve to degrade patient satisfaction, increase the risk of serious harm and unnecessary suffering for our patients, expose our staff to preventable needlestick injuries, and yes, result in the loss of revenue due to the complications resulting from this decision."

More than 80 percent of the hospital's nurses signed the petition, which also lists other issues at the hospital that nurses consider to be "deficiencies in patient care and safety," according to the union news release. 

Shelly Weiss, a hospital spokesperson, told Becker's in a statement that the change regarding the IV therapy team is designed to improve patient care.   

"Saint Vincent Hospital is committed to providing high-quality, safe patient care," the statement reads. "To improve the flow of patient care, the hospital is training all nurses on IV administration, which is a best practice. The IV therapy team will remain in place until all other nurses are trained to administer IVs. The hospital will support all IV therapy team members to transfer to another clinical nursing role at Saint Vincent Hospital."

Ms. Weiss also said the Massachusetts Nurses Association was appropriately notified.

The union contends that requiring bedside nurses to attend the IV training and take on this aspect of care will overly burden staff members who are already overwhelmed.

In addition to signing the petition, nurses have buttons to wear that read "Save Our IV Team: Don't Stick It to Our Patients," according to the union.

Read the full petition here

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