Stand Up for Nurses Rights at Overlake Hospital!

Stand Up for Nurses Rights at Overlake Hospital!

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Marianne Luna started this petition to Overlake Hospital

This is an open letter to Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Washington.

 

We represent the nurses, the PCTs, and all of the nursing staff. We have been loyal to Overlake to the point of exhaustion - pulling 16 hour days to help out another shift, coming on our one day off for a total of 9 days in a row, and giving up our lunch breaks to try to help each other with a critical patient. We have not had break nurse coverage, which makes us struggle even more without getting breaks.


However, we deserve certain rights, especially while caring for COVID19 patients. We are putting our own health at risk, as well as the health of our families due to not having the proper PPE. Several employees have called out due to an illness, and yet Employee Health has told many of us to “just wear a mask and come to work.” In doing so, we continue to spread the COVID19 virus to our fellow colleagues. Yet, there is no way for us to know if we have it unless we are tested. However, we are told to go to our PCPs instead of having all employees tested to create a safer work environment. We wish to remain loyal to Overlake, but also demand the following to ensure the safety of our patients, ourselves and our families:


1. Follow workplace safety guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including daily N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, bunny suits, and eye protection, as well as supplies such as Sani-wipes to help keep our work environment clean.

2. Hazard pay differential of $20/hr for all nurses and $10/hr for all PCTs working on units with COVID19 patients. Again, we are putting ourselves at risk with limited PPE that we are using for days at a time. We deserve more than a float pool differential. There is increased stress and danger confronting us on top of caring for heavily acute patients. We demand that we have retroactive pay starting from Friday, March 6th, 2020 as this is when we first started caring for COVID19 patients.

3. Safe staffing. Increase the ratio of extra RNs to COVID patients. Several of our units are full of COVID patients, one extra RN and one extra PCT is not enough when we have 14 positive or rule out COVID patients with a total of 19 patients on the floor. Many, if not all, of these patients are demented and confused, which takes most of our time if we have to keep putting on PPE to answer bed alarms. Most nurses are taking 2-3 COVID patients now. Nurses should take no more than 3 patients in an assignment if they are all COVID positive or rule/out patients. If the nurse has 2 COVID positive or rule/out patients, they should take no more than 4 patients in an assignment.

4. Have the trained observers help with other tasks on the floor, such as answering call lights, breaking sitters, passing meds, wiping down community areas with wipes, etc. These nurses from OR and IPS can and should be helping the floor nurses with simple RN tasks. We need everyone to be working together as a team.

5. Provide paid leave for any employee who has been exposed to COVID19 with or without proper PPE and needs to be tested with no loss of pay or accrued time off. Employees instructed to stay home from Employee Health and/or a PCP should NOT have to drain their EIB for a possible workplace exposure. 

6. Regulated COVID19 testing of all employees working directly with COVID patients. We must exhaust every precaution to keep employees safe, which in turn helps us keep caring for our patients, and helps us flatten the curve.

7. Offer accommodation (telework or alternative assignments) or paid leave with no loss of pay or accrued time off for any worker in an at risk group (older than 60, pregnant, or with an underlying medical condition)

8. Provide prompt notice from employer of known exposure, assessment of exposure risk, readily available testing, and whether a worker is on paid leave.

9. Provide scrubs and a secure location to change uniforms so we do not have to bring our soiled uniforms home and into the community.


We are committed to continue to provide excellent care for our patients and to support Overlake Hospital and all of the hospital team as nursing staff. We would hope that you provide that same commitment and support to us.

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