Nurses to denounce ‘unsafe conditions’ in Tri-City ER

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Nurses at Tri-City Medical Center Sunday called for immediate changes to management of the hospital’s emergency department to “avoid further harm to patients” and “voice alarm over operations of the hospital’s emergency department.”

A press release from the nurses at the Oceanside hospital said the emergency department is “chronically overcrowded with inadequate levels of appropriate personnel and security” and that management has “refused to take action to rectify the situation.”

“We have met with management and made concrete recommendations for improving current conditions,” said Brenda Ham, who has been a registered nurse at the hospital for 32 years. “We are now calling for immediate changes in management of the emergency department.”

The nurses will hold a news conference at noon Monday at the hospital to outline the “unsafe conditions and possible legal violations” that they have documented and reported for five months, according to the press release.

The nurses will be joined by medical device professional Jane Mitchell, a candidate in November’s election for the The Tri-City Healthcare District Board, as well as a representative of the Oceanside Firefighters Union, according to the statement.

In addition to calling for a change in management, the nurses called for more security personnel in the emergency room and the use of more certified nursing assistants.

David Bennett, the chief marketing director for the hospital, said he had not heard about the news conference and hospital officials had no comment.


  • Bmartin

    Not just the ER…more units have management that do not listen to their nurses. Most of the management needs to go, especially at the upper levels. Don’t go unless you have no other choice.

  • EDnurse

    Let me just say, Mgmt is very aware of the situations we are talking about. When we say it is unsafe, it is unsafe. We need security 24/7 in our triage/waiting room. Recent assault. We need monitors for every patient, especially hall patients. We had an incident in the hall. Mgmt more concerned about treating volume and numbers than treating real people. It is a huge problem. All of management is aware but pretends they weren’t until today. Nurses are overwhelmed, over ratioed, and not listened to. Nurses need to be the voice of patient care, not the million dollar leadership package they bought called Studor.

    • ED TOO

      The nurses are as big of a problem as management at this hospital. The nurses are not concerned about patients, but concerned about controlling the amount of work they do by working as little as possible and fighting with management.

      • EDnurse

        interesting. I’d rather have a nurse take care of me than management. Managements job is volume and numbers, nurses job is patient care and safety. But nurses need to be heard, we advocate for the patients.

      • Employee

        Been at Tri-city more than 10 years. Nurses ARE caring and do a great job. Staffing levels in EVERY department are set way too low. 3-4 hour wait times are known to all in management. If you find that a problem you should let hospital managers know. Tell you right now, no change will be made as long as they don’t hear a huge outcry. They always say staff needs to work harder. It takes a major incident to force a change, and the nurses here are trying to get noticed before someone is hurt. They are not lazy! They are concerned for patient safety.

  • Ray Sutton

    Tri City is a place I would NEVER want to go. The management doesn’t care about people. All they care about is getting as much money as they can. I am sure the nurses have talked to them about this. Now they try to play dumb.

  • Ray Sutton

    ED TOO Thanks for the management propaganda. If I worked there I would be fighting with management because they are pathetic.

  • Michael Slavinski

    Some help with the process for both sides, “management” is not clearly defined in a healthcare facility, here are your choices;
    1. Leadership__ (Honorable board members) they give guidance to the staff concerning decision making, the issue of emergency room staffing is their responsibility.
    2. Executive staff__ (C-suite) responsible for day to day operation of the facility and input to the honorable board, probably has no input to this argument, they are non-organized labor.
    3. Staff__more than likely all organized, I do know the California Nurses Association is pushing a bill concerning healthcare safety and also supporting the organization of the nurses at our Veteran’s San Diego Healthcare system. a collective voice is needed at that facility.

    To win elections or concessions you need a clear focus in my humble opinion, the term “management” in healthcare does not exist and could possible expose your efforts to offending those that may well support your efforts.

    • Employee

      True. CEO and CFO are pushing the very low staffing levels. The board must see the ER, daily over-whelmed, and all support services unable to keep up. Why do they allow it to continue? No honest person could walk in there, look around and say management cares about patients.

  • Michael Slavinski

    CNA Sponsored: SB 1299 and AB 2616

    SB 1299 (Padilla) Workplace Violence. To address the growing problem of workplace violence in California hospitals, this bill would direct CalOSHA to develop a regulatory standard on workplace violence requiring hospitals establish workplace violence prevention plans that include strong provisions to protect health care workers and other facility personnel from aggressive and violent behavior, including interactive personnel education and training; systems to assess and improve factors that contribute to violence in the hospital, including sufficiency of security and staffing; provisions protecting an employee’s right to seek help from law enforcement; and, requirements for hospitals to document and report incidents of violence to Cal/OSHA. The bill would also require Cal/OSHA to post a report on its website containing information regarding violent incidents at hospitals and to make recommendations on how to prevent violent incidents at hospitals.

  • Michael Slavinski

    Hopefully, long after this election is over, the individuals commenting in this article will support the collective efforts of the California Nurses Association in addressing workplace violence in our medical facilities. Up until last year we lived up in Paso, one hospital north of Atascadero State Hospital, a couple of our friends spent most of their lives working there, violence is nearly a daily event in that facility, facilitated and perpetuated by both a apathy and a lack of transparency in my humble opinion, your support would be greatly appreciated and I believe our community would benefit as well.
    After the election I will be asking the Honorable Board of Directors at Tri-city Healthcare District to support SB 1299 and hopefully I will be doing so just after the local members of the California Nurses Association and SEIU-UHW west do likewise.

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