Health and Fitness

Nurses Speak Out Thursday Against Dangerous Hospital Practice

RNs Blast Cypress Fairbanks Policy They Say Forces Nurses to Work When Sick Endangering Patients

Houston, TX–(ENEWSPF)–October 25, 2011.  Registered nurses at Houston’s Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center will hold a press conference Thursday to warn the public about a reckless hospital policy they say pushes nurses to work when sick, exposing fragile hospital patients to further infection.

The RNs, members of the National Nurses Organizing Committee-Texas/National Nurses United,  are protesting a punitive sick leave policy used by the hospital that subjects every nurse to the loss of her or his job if sick six times within a 12 month period.

Nurses are, of course, more subject to becoming sick because of proximity to ill patients. By threatening them with termination for staying home when sick, rather than coming to work and exposing patients with already compromised immune systems, and other staff, the hospital is forcing nurses to choose between protecting their patients or their own livelihood.

At a minimum, the RNs are demanding Cypress Fairbanks at least suspend the policy now, as flu season approaches. Nurses want resolution to their demands to safeguard their patients from the possibility of contracting the flu or H1N1 from a sick employee and limit the spread of infections through the broader community.  

RNs have also been wearing buttons that read “RNs Protect Patients By Not Working Sick.”

“As we move into the flu season and are faced with possibility of a pandemic, nurses at CFMC face either coming to work sick or being discipline for ‘unscheduled’ absences,” said Brenda Landreville, a 30-year RN who works in the Labor and Delivery unit at Cypress Fairbanks.
“Nurses want to provide the best possible care for their patients and to protect patients and patients’ families from getting sicker at the hospital.  But this is made difficult by an attendance policy that punishes nurses for being sick,” Landreville said.