Saint Luke’s nursing changes prompt concerns

Sandra Baldry, Lee’s Summit, Kansas City Star, November 2, 2009“Nursing jobs to be overhauled” (10/23, Business) gives much cause for concern among health care professionals. As a registered nurse, I have questions for Saint Luke’s Hospital spokeswoman Kerry O’Connor. By de-skilling patient care technicians to nursing assistants and reducing their numbers, how is the registered nurse to have “more hands-on opportunity for bedside care” without more nurses? At a lower rate of pay and with fewer co-workers, will assistants be able to maintain high-quality care? I am skeptical that bedside nurses support a decision that takes extra hands from the patient’s bedside. It sounds like a financial decision to me. Patients deserve quality care given by skilled nurses and assistants. I don’t think this plan will accomplish that. Send comments to dvestal@kcstar.com © 2009 Kansas City Star and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.