Maine hospital nurses call for 24-hour security after patient assaults

Nurses and technicians at Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital in Ellsworth are demanding a new contract with higher nurse staffing levels and constant security, according to CBS affiliate WGME. 

Multiple Maine Coast nurses have been assaulted by patients in the past two years, according to Jennifer Nappi, a spokesperson for Maine State Nurses Association, the union that represents the hospital's nurses and technicians. 

Maine Coast officials developed a plan for limited security presence at the hospital but nurses say this response is insufficient. The union is demanding 24-hour security and calling for the hospital to staff a third nurse in the emergency department for night shifts, according to Ms. Nappi.

Nurses at the hospital have been negotiating a new contract with hospital administrators since May, while technicians have been negotiating since November 2017.

The hospital continues to "negotiate in good faith," Maine Coast said in an Oct. 25 statement to WGME.

"As Maine Coast frequently evaluates hospital safety, it has recently increased security on campus to ensure that the hospital is a safe place to give and receive care," hospital spokesperson Kelley Columber said. "Representatives from Maine Coast Hospital will meet with the MSNA again next month and looks forward to a successful resolution soon."

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