FVRMC respiratory therapists petition to CEO

The enormous increase in positive and PUI patients and the hospital’s failure to adjust our staffing model and increase staffing is putting at risk patients and staff.

We have numerous examples of situations that have caused concern and many of them we have already raised with our Director to no avail.  We are united in demanding that FVRMC take the following steps to address issues in the Respiratory Department:

  • Staff 1:1 for ventilated COVID patients. This was done initially and then the hospital relaxed it’s standards. 
  • End the practice of Respiratory Therapists caring for both positives, PUI’s and clean patients and staff care appropriately without risking cross contamination.
  • Assign a float RT each day who can back up Respiratory Therapists and help on crisis situations.
  • Implement an extra shift bonus program to try to encourage staff to take additional shifts. 

The acuity level of the COVID patients requires more care, not less care that is stretched. There are so many patients dying that we need time to conduct terminal cleans, restock and prepare equipment and medication.   There are simply not enough staff assigned to do patient care safely.  With COVID we are dramatically increasing the number of arterial blood gas (ABG) draws. The ABG’s are a Stat order, requiring the Therapist to drop whatever they are doing to do the test. These are tantamount to an emergency call by hospital policy; requiring draw and report in less than 1/2 hour.  This extremely time consuming procedures that remove us from carrying for our already heavy patient assignments.

Aside from the above demands, we support our Union’s proposal that FVRMC:

  1. Provide free testing for all employees
  2. Test all patients admitted to the hospital
  3. Ensure that all employees who are in contact with patients are provided with N95 mask, goggles and gowns. End single N95 mask usage among multiple patients.
  4. Quarantine, test and provide paid administrative leave to all employee who have potential exposure to COVID 19.