Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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CRMC healthcare workers complain of “short staffing”

HARRIS – Members of 1199SEIU healthcare workers rallied in front of Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris, Tuesday, expressing their concerns for what they said is “short-staffing” by administration.

The employees contend they cannot complete the work for which they were hired because there are not enough employees and there are insufficient numbers of workers to meet the needs of the patients.

Janet Kean of Wurtsboro was a certified nursing assistant at Catskill Regional for eight months, but said she quit on Saturday after being told she had to work a double shift, not the first time that has happened to her.

“Things have gotten so bad,” Kean said. “The last two months we have worked so many doubles, I was out sick for two weeks with walking pneumonia, bronchitis and rhinovirus.”.

Hospital spokesman Rob Lee said they take staffing concerns “very seriously and always place patient care and welfare at the highest priority.”

He said sometimes they must ask workers to “delay, move, or miss a break because serving our patients’ needs requires immediate attention.”

Lee said the hospital pays employees if their breaks are “substantially interrupted.”

He noted there are 691 employees at the hospital with 294 of them being members of the 1199 union. On Tuesday alone, he said 22 new employees joined Catskill Regional, six of whom are union workers.

“The ideal number of employees is based on how many patients we have and the severity of illnesses of those patients,” Lee said. “The patient census numbers are constantly fluctuating and staffed in the best manner possible to meet patient care needs.”

 


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