Puyallup hospital fires 12 ICU nurses

Good Samaritan Hospital recently fired 12 ICU nurses. (Photo: KOMO News)

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup this week fired 12 of its intensive-care unit nurses. Administrators maintain they have the missing positions covered.

In the midst of a statewide nursing shortage Good Samaritan is now 12 nurses short in the ICU. KOMO News has been told it has to do with a human resources violation, perhaps having to do with time cards. The hospital said it has nothing to do with drug or patient safety issues, but wouldn't provide details, say it wanted to protect the privacy of those fired.

MultiCare, which oversees Good Samaritan, says it has care covered, but some patients aren't so sure. "We had a lot of concerns about the care our daughter was going to get," said new father Kyle Ewing. "And the care my fiance was going to get."

Ewing's daughter, Aryia, was just born there Thursday. Mother and daughter are not in ICU, but Ewing worries about shifting nurses around when you lose 12 all at once. "That's a big hit, and a lot of people are going to be working overtime, which is concerning too because you don't want the people who are taking care of you or your loved ones not having any sleep."

But Multicare sent out this statement, "As a multi-hospital health system, we have a lot of experience managing the complexities of scheduling to ensure we have the right people in our facilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

"That's horrible," said one visitor to the ER who didn't want to give her name. She is concerned you just can't make up for 12 fewer nurses. "I'm worried about going into the emergency room, and if they've fired that many people in ICU, they're going to take nurses from somewhere else."

The Washington State Nurses Association union issued a statement saying, "We are aware of the situation and are working with individual members. It is under review. We definitely will do everything we can to protect our members with contract provisions."

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