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These health care workers say they were fired after raising safety ...

Ketchikan Hospital
the National Labor Relations Board
Peace Health Ketchikan
NBC News
Alaska Nurses Association’s
PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center
the City University of New York’s
Graduate Center
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Clark County Superior Court
PeaceHealth St. Joseph
the Clark County Superior Court
the American Civil Liberties Union
NBC News'

Robert Liu
Doug Koekkoek
Donna Phillips
Sarah Collins
Ruth Milkman
St. Joseph
St. John
PeaceHealth Southwest
Peter Stutheit
Ming Lin
Richard DeCarlo


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St. Joseph Medical Center


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The New York Times
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She says she was worried that nurses might miss something, potentially leading to “catastrophic consequences.” Weber said there were available ICU beds at the time and that the hospital’s possible solution of keeping a nurse in the room for 12 hours, “for prolonged exposure” to Covid-19, didn’t seem sustainable to her. “After independent review by medical staff, we determined that appropriate standards were in place and adhered to,” said PeaceHealth Chief Physician Executive, Doug Koekkoek.Careworn health care workers, burned out after nearly two years of fighting the pandemic, are duty-bound to speak up for their patients but some fear risking retribution from their employers for doing so. Sarah Collins said she was fired from her staff nurse position at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Washington state after raising safety concerns.“I just feel like, ‘Is this really happening?’ Because I’ve always just really prided myself on being a nurse,” said Collins, 41. People have needs.” The problem of nurses being overworked, even in unionized hospitals, has been an issue for at least a decade, said Ruth Milkman, a sociologist of labor and professor at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, but Covid has made the problem even worse.“If nurses and other health care workers are overworked, the probability of medical errors goes up, and care is compromised,” Milkman said. This is impeded when hospitals silence advice meant to protect workers and the public.”A representative from the ACLU of Washington told NBC News that his case was currently awaiting a trial date, delayed because of Covid-19.According to the lawsuit, PeaceHealth Chief Operating Officer Richard DeCarlo said in an interview with ZdoggMD in April 2020 that Lin was terminated because he “created a toxic work environment.” DeCarlo went on to say that Lin posted misinformation on Facebook.In a statement issued to NPR in May 2020, PeaceHealth said Lin “chose to not use designated safety reporting channels, and his actions were disruptive, compromised collaboration in the midst of a crisis and contributed to the creation of fear and anxiety.”PeaceHealth said that its Covid-19 protocol has changed throughout the pandemic, saying, “requirements for specific actions, such as temperature checks, have evolved on the basis of best available scientific evidence over the course of the pandemic.”“Ensuring the safety of our caregivers and the patients we care for is PeaceHealth’s highest priority.

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