The Californian — Salinas Valley State Prison nurses say they’re fed up with being “blown off” by management over allegedly poor working conditions.
Wednesday night, several members of the nursing staff, all represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 1000, aired those grievances at the Soledad City Council meeting.
Mayor Fred Ledesma didn’t immediately return a call requesting comment Thursday afternoon.
Nick Mannion, a licensed vocational nurse, outlined a cycle of mandated overtime that started nearly two years ago when the hospital’s call light system broke. Rather than install a new system, prison administrators ordered nurses to walk the halls, he said.
Call light systems are in wide hospital use and allow patients to summon a nurse should they experience any sort of medical distress.
“Ours hasn’t worked, and the answer to that question is to require nurses to walk as the call light,” he said. “Every 15 minutes we walk by and see if inmates need anything.”
Doing so requires mandated overtime. It also puts both inmates and nurses at risk, Mannion said. For example, a nurse who passed a patient only moments before a medical emergency might not see that patient again for another 15 minutes. continue reading...