Belluvue Woman's Center is dedicated to the care of women and infants in the Capital Region. But some registered nurses there believe that care is in jeopardy because of a few recent changes and now they're speaking out. Our Erin Connolly reports.
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. --Victoria Decker has been a registered nurse at Bellevue Woman's Center for the last 24 years.
Decker said, "I've worked at other facilities, but when I came to Bellevue, we were like a family."
But Decker and other nurses are concerned about changes being made by Ellis Medicine, which runs Bellevue. About eight months ago, nurses say Ellis implemented a new model of care known as mother-baby. It means one nurse would care for both child and mother after birth. The old model had one nurse for the mom and a different nurse for the baby. Nurses say they have not been adequately trained to do both.
Decker said, "If you have something new and you're unsure of what you're doing, that can cause a drastic outcome and that's what we're afraid of."
The nurses are now looking to join the New York State Nurses Association. In fact, almost every nurse at the hospital has signed a petition to management requesting legal recognition of the union.
Decker said, "One of the reasons we're unionizing is we feel we're the backbone of the hospital. We know what we do every day and we want to have a voice in our patient care."
While officials at Ellis Medicine denied our request for an on-camera interview, they did issue a statement that says, "Ellis Medicine has not received any official requests regarding the issue being picketed. We always value the opinion of our employees and are open to listening to any of their thoughts or concerns. Ellis Medicine stands behind the high quality of care it provides on all of its campuses. The way our care is delivered on all of our campuses is evidenced-based and we are fortunate to have highly skilled and caring medical-dental and nursing staffs."
For their part, nurses just want this issue resolved, so their focus can remain on mothers and their babies.
Decker said, "We want the best for our patients. That's all we want."