Boston psych hospital patient catches 3 staff members sleeping on job

A mental health patient at Boston-based Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center captured photos of three staff members sleeping on the job in December, reports ABC affiliate WCVB.

Three things to know:

1. The patient, Julia Moreira, said she left her room early one morning and found a nurse, a patient care assistant and a third worker tasked with watching a high-risk patient all asleep.

"My safety was a big concern at that point. Not only mine but everyone else's," she told WCVB, adding that it was not the first time she had caught workers sleeping at the state-run facility.

2. The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health told WCVB it took disciplinary action against the sleeping employees but did not specify what these actions entailed.

"It's unacceptable for any situation to be created in which our patients are potentially put at risk," DMH Commissioner Joan Mikula told the publication.

3. The union that represents most DMH employees, AFSCME Council 93, declined to comment on the sleeping workers but shared the following statement with WCVB:

"Steady and significant reductions in direct care staff, coupled with minimum safe staffing levels, has created a tremendous burden on current staff who are forced to work overtime shifts with little or no advance notice," said union spokesperson Jim Durkin. "These same workers are also regularly denied requests to use vacation and personal leave time."

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