Nurses on the night shift for the the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, which has several critically ill patients, and the Intensive Care Unit of Accident and Emergency of the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) have reported sick for the night as the battle for better salaries and benefits continue.
The nurses, who have been picketing the institution of recent, have vowed to pursue various actions until their demands are met.
The Georgetown Public allowance Hospital Corporation (GPHC) on Friday began gearing up for a crisis should nurses go on strike.
In a notice dated October 2 and sent to all Heads of Department, Director of Medical and Professional Services Dr Fawcett Jeffrey listed some important measures that will be required in anticipation of the strike action including reducing services to only emergencies, suspending all outpatient activities, discharge patients, eliminate visitation and provide home care plan for patients who are not severely ill.
Dr Jeffery listed the following systems and measures that will be required by the Heads of Department:
- Identify the personnel who will be willing to work and facilitate medical care to persons seeking same.
- Re-arrange staff members who are willing to provide essential services to the inpatients that may have been unfortunately inconvenienced by the strike actions.
- Reduce services to emergencies only to allow for all remaining staff to participate in essential caregiving to the inpatient population
- Reduce the inpatient population by discharged. All patients who will not be adversely affected will be given a home care plan until the situation normalizes
- All outpatient activity will be suspended or referred with provisions in place to allow for education, advice, repeat treatment to persons in need.
- In the absence of Nurses in Clinic areas, the Wards or Operating Room, doctors will be asked to assist with basic interventions like medication dispensation, vital signs and dressings on patients who for one reason of the other could not be discharged or referred to another institution for care. Teams should be created with the available personnel to identify who will be responsible for which duties to allow for patient care to continue in crisis mode.
- Visitation will be eliminated except for family members attempting to remove their patients from the Hospital, special permission will be granted for same
- Any person who will remain as inpatient will be accompanied by a willing relative who will assist with the care of the patient e.g. showering, feeding and other physiological needs. Exception: No family on the Infectious Disease Units (IICU, Transition, IDW and ICU)
- In granting permission for patient to be accompanied a consent form must be filled and signed by the parties involved.
- HOD’s must give feedback to the Directors on their challenges or other pertinent interventions that will assist the institution to adequately maintain essential services during the crisis.