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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is laying off nurses. While the hospitals say the cuts are necessary, the nurses worry patient safety will be jeopardized.
The hospitals’ representative says it hasn’t been decided on how many layoffs there will be. Nurses say about 70-75 nurses could be given pink slips.
Cari Trousdale works in the Med-Surgery Department as a nurse at the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. She says she worries about what the cuts will do to the patients.
“Safety is no longer the benchmark,” said Trousdale, who has been a nurse for 23 years. “We are running so profoundly short-staffed that safety is significantly compromised.”
Nurses expect most of the cuts will come from the neo-natal, specialty care nursery, med-surgery and float team departments.
According to the hospitals, the cuts are coming because of fewer patients due to a variety of factors, most notably a decline in the birth rate.
Right now, however, the hospitals are seeing more patients than usual.
“Our surge on the Minneapolis campus, and I’m sure St. Paul as well, has gone on now for a good two months and we are in the thick of it,” said Trousdale.
Sources told WCCO-TV that things got so bad a couple of weeks ago that secretaries and house keepers were asked to help watch patients.
According to the hospitals, this isn’t true and they released a statement saying, “At no point have we, or would we, place a sick child under the supervision of any employee who is not trained as a health care provider. Any reports suggesting that we have done this are inaccurate.
“If we were talking normal average daily census right now, we still wouldn’t have the staff that we needed to take care of kids,” said Trousdale.
The hospitals’ representative says that patient safety is always the number one concern for every single employee at Children’s.
Sonya Goins, Producer