Staffing central issue in Oneida Healthcare nurse rally: 4 things to know

Oneida (N.Y.) Healthcare nurses, represented by the New York State Nurses Association, rallied Wednesday over staffing levels, according to a Oneida Daily Dispatch report.

Here are four things to know about the rally.

1. Dozens of nurses from Oneida Healthcare and surrounding hospitals attended the rally.

2. Nurses at the rally demanded management increase staffing levels. "Right now Oneida does not have the staffing to meet patient needs," said Tara Martin, senior communications manager of the New York State Nurses Association, according to the report. "Oneida patients and families deserve safe staffing levels because safe staffing saves lives."

3. But Kevin Prosser, head of Oneida Healthcare public relations, contends current staffing is meeting patient needs. "As required, the hospital complies with a wide array of state and federal guidelines under the oversight of the New York State Department of Health, federal CMS and accrediting organizations including the Joint Commission," he said, according to the report. "These guidelines cover a multitude of areas including the adequacy of staffing in order to provide the care necessary to achieve expected quality outcomes. We believe our nurse staffing is in line with these industry standards and our outcome results for patient care and patient satisfaction support that." He also noted that the hospital is in the process of filling four nursing vacancies.

4. Nurses at the rally have been working under the terms of an expired contract since December 2014. Three negotiation sessions are scheduled in January.

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