Nurses at two West Virginia health care centers are sending a message.
The nurses, who took part in an informational picket Tuesday evening, say they need more help.
The informational pickets took place at Bluefield Regional Medical Center in Mercer County and at the Greenbrier Valley Medical Center in Greenbrier County between 6-8:30pm. Both are owned by Community Health Systems.
Brenda Meadwell is a registered nurse with 27-years experience. She works at BRMC in labor and delivery. She says the reason she and her co-workers are picketing is the shortage of staff.
She says it’s been a problem since CHS took over BRMC in 2010.
“We’ve had a very huge turnover of nurses,” according to Meadwell. “I really doesn’t seem to be getting that much better, if it is at all.”
She says the staff is stretched too thin and they’re being asked to do more work than what is possible and safe for their patients.
“We are interested in our patients safety. That is our number one thing,” explained Meadwell.
The RN says they’ve tried to convey to management that the health and lives of patients are at risk when nurses are forced to rush from one patient to the next.
“Everything we are telling them is falling on deaf ears and we feel it’s time to take some action,” Meadwell said.
The nurses at BMRC along with those at the Greenbrier Valley Medical Center weren’t the only ones picketing Tuesday evening. Nurses at CHS-run facilities in Ohio and California also took part.
Meadwell says the company refuses to hear their concerns, so they’re taking them to the public in hopes they’ll be able to get the attention of management.
Calls were made to CHS for their comment on the story but were not returned.