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Nursing Contract Update

Staffing Facts

Staffing GraphStaffing plans at EMMC are based on a broad set of criteria, recognized nationally to be important variables in optimum nursing care. Staffing on individual units is planned by nurse managers with input from staff, with consideration for the acuity of the patients on the unit, anticipated admission and discharge activity, and the skills and experience of the individual nurses. In addition, EMMC’s nurse staffing model includes nursing technicians to assist nurses with their assignments and the care of their patients, creating care teams. Staffing flexes depending on the patient volume on nursing units and any concerns individual nurses may have concerning assignments are expected to be reviewed and addressed immediately.

Along with our full time staff, we currently have resource nurses available on (Telemetry, Merritt 3, Grant 5, Grant 6 West, and the ED) and a house resource nurse 24/7 who can work on any unit. A resource nurse is an extra nurse available in the case that acuity or volume increases. Typically, resource nurses are new graduates, these nurses will work various shifts as they orient to their departments, with the anticipation that they will more quickly fill staff nurse vacancies as they occur.

With the attention on nurse staffing at EMMC, we thought it would be helpful to translate the complex staffing information into easy to understand graphs. Our intention is to reassure our community and our patients that leadership at EMMC is continuing to support and provide for high quality, safe nursing care.

Actual Nurse Staffing Levels
The graphs and data on the following pages take a look as far back as August 2010 to illustrate actual staffing at EMMC, on every adult medical/surgical unit, on every shift. EMMC’s information is shown alongside nationally accepted staffing levels as a basis for comparison. These several months represent the nurse staffing model that has been in place at EMMC for many years.

Average Weekly Hours Worked and Mandated Overtime 
The pie charts on the following pages show a breakdown of nursing hours worked at EMMC, including the percentage of nurses who averaged weekly overtime, and the percentage of nurses who worked mandated overtime. (Click here for 2010 data.  Click here for 2011 data. Click here for 2012 data.)

We encourage you to take the time to review the information and understand the facts. EMMC is the target of a California-based nursing union with a national agenda to control nurse staffing at hospitals across the country. Nurse staffing is a local, administrative function, that can’t be determined within the narrow scope of a union contract. We are happy to discuss any unanswered questions or concerns with you. Please do not hesitate to email us your questions or concerns.

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Eastern Maine Medical Center