MARQUETTE, MI-- Registered nurses from UPHS Marquette made it clear what they want from hospital administration Tuesday: more nurses and shorter shifts.
The RNs under the Michigan Nurses Association and the hospital are currently negotiating a contract. Members of the hospital’s RN Staff Council held a press conference at their office on Magnetic Street in Marquette Tuesday afternoon.
Stephanie Depetro is Chief Grievance Steward and a member of the nurses’ negotiating team. She says patients sometimes wait hours for pain meds, for help to use a bathroom, and for other attention—and that’s not acceptable.
“Duke LifePoint says it’s okay to force nurses to work 16 hours straight,” she says. “Duke LifePoint is saying having your nurses stretched so thin that their patients can’t receive the care that they deserve and they need is okay. Duke LifePoint is saying that putting profits ahead of patients is just fine. We, as nurses of UPHS Marquette, say this is not fine. This is not okay. This cannot and this will not go on.”
The nurses have collected more than 3,700 signatures on a petition asking for support for safe patient care. After the press conference more than 100 people walked to UPHS Marquette to present them to the administration.
Hospital officials say there’s a shortage of nurses across the nation, and because of contract negotiations they cannot comment any further.