NY Pinoy nurses demand safer workplaces

BRONX, N.Y. – After a nurse was assaulted by a patient a week ago, health care workers at NewYork-Presbyterian – The Allen Pavilion Hospital held a vigil to pray for safety in the work place.

The victim, Michael Berkowitz, said, “This happens all the time and with nurses.”

Filipino emergency room nurse Ernest Uy said, “Yung pasyente, bagong dating medyo naging impatient. Bigla na lang lumapit sinuntok yung co-worker ko na who is a nurse. He fell down on the ground when that happened.”

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rankss healthcare institutions among the most dangerous places to work.

According to the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), two out of 10 work place injuries happen to healthcare workers.

Healthcare workers suffer 50 percent of all assaults.

“Because of the conditions, so many patients are forced to endure long waits, overcrowding, the inadequate staffing that we’re subjected to that kind of foments or exacerbates violent behavior,” NYSNA President Judy Sheridan Gonzales said. “Very often we’re subjected to verbal violence as well.”

The Allen Pavilion Hospital at the Bronx employs about a thousand Filipino nurses.

“We are nurses because we want to care for our patients.,” NYSNA’s Anneberyl Corotan Naguit said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have enough hands. We don’t have enough bodies to do it.”

For example, intensive care units or ICU’s should ideally provide a one nurse to one patient ratio. A floor nurse ideally has a 1 to 4 ratio, but this is not always the case.

ICU nurse Nina Politan said, “We’re actually 1 is to 2 nurses, kasi understaff. Wala masyado staffing, so we’re always tired. But we give the best quality of care.”

Operating room nurse Emily Ignacio said, “If we have not enough staff, of course work will be slow. Long waiting for the patient and that causes the anxiety. They get angry and they will assault you.”

NYSNA – a union with 37,000 member nurses wants the public to know that assaulting a health care worker is a felony in the state of New York.

The union is also demanding healthcare facilities to improve working conditions by providing adequate staffing.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Kevin McGurk
    1 May 2015 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    It is called The Allen Hospital and it is in Manhattan. If you are going to write a story, make sure you get the name and location correct. Note, the incorrect information does NOT take away any importance from the issue. As an RN at The Allen Hospital, I will not tolerate violence toward me or ANY member of my team. I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

  • kikay Pang0
    10 May 2015 at 5:19 am - Reply

    Robots will soon change medical industry.
    All of this nurses will cry more
    when this changes takes effect.