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Local RN files labor claim against Piedmont in fight for safer working conditions



A local nurse is taking a stand against unsafe nurse-patient ratios at hospitals.

The National Labor Relations Board opened Heather Odell’s complaint and is investigating.

Odell worked for seven years in 5 North/South, a step-down “intermediate” unit at Piedmont Augusta. 

She was very...

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  1. Piedmont workers are entitled to safe working conditions. Piedmont patients are entitled to safe professional patient care. Piedmont retirees are entitled too the benefits they were promised. Perhaps it’s time for Piedmont employees to organize!

  2. Waited 17 hours in the ER for my wife to be seen. She was misdiagnosed and returned 4 days later by ambulance. Waited seven days before surgery because surgeon went on a Masters vacation. Muscles atrophied and she’s having to learn to walk again. Patient care has gone downhill since Piedmont took over.

  3. Companies don’t care about employees anymore. I remember when people stayed at the workplace for 30 years they were treated like human beings..now everyone is a number..and even unions treat their members like crap now…

  4. “Around the time Odell raised concerns about the nurse-patient ratio in 5NS, a manager crouched behind a wall while she and another nurse spoke about multiple work-related issues, such as stress, anxiety and the risks they face when the hospital is understaffed, Odell said. ”

    That’s downright dirty. I’m glad she landed on her feet at another place. The transition to Piedmont has seemed like a bad one. Fairly sure they’re still in a suit over trying to axe employee pension benefits.

    • Hopefully she is not wearing a ‘scarlet letter’ for speaking out, but the article is written to imply that she did not gain employment at another area hospital per se, but instead became a traveling ‘contract nurse’ who goes from assignment to assignment where ever she is sent to by the agency that hired her. While these jobs provide a service to understaffed hospitals, they are also like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to bite into until afterwards.

  5. She displayed tremendous courage to make this public and take on a fight of this nature. Hospitals are powerful entities with a tremendous amount of capital and community influence. This type of staffing issue would seem to be a very dangerous trend; If not prevented from taking root such a practice could become a routine framework for patient care. I suspect this problem may not be isolated to one facility in our community. This will only be resolved if the public rises up and demands better. Facilities may blame a shortage of nurses as the reason for increasing nurse to patient ratios, however, that is merely a plausible excuse. Perhaps miserable and unsafe working conditions like those alleged in this case have contributed substantially to the nursing shortage. Is there a shortage of nurses or a shortage of nurses willing to work at the bedside? Could her manager not have taken a patient assignment or how about her managers boss taking a patient assignment? Poor working conditions can be self-inflicted. While public demand for change is essential, nurses must begin to stand for one another. It seems this nurse did her part and then some.

  6. I am so proud of Heather and what she is doing to stand up for patients and her fellow colleagues. I have worked along side her and she is an excellent nurse that delivers compassionate care.

  7. Ah, Hospital Week. Please do not make this out to be a “Hit Piece” on Piedmont Augusta. There IS a Nursing shortage in this Country. Our daughter-in-law is a Nurse in SC, and it is there too. Do not need a “spokesperson” or “study”, both with union ties, to explain circumstances. I retired from University Hospital with twenty-one years of service in the I/T department. Staffing shortages are nothing new, and have been around for at least a decade or so. I do hope that Ms. Odell is successful with her complaint, however. I find it appalling a Nurse Manager is “crouching” to gather dirt, to be used against a fellow employee. However, to put this all in perspective, if my wife or I need hospital care, we will still be heading to Piedmont Augusta.

  8. A crouching manager??? Really? I hope the other employees of this hospital quickly identify this “croucher” as NEVER to be trusted. When she walks in, everybody needs to shut up because she shouldn’t be trusted.
    The nurse highlighted on this article is right, no matter what the policy states. They are wrong and know they are supporting an increased failure potential with this ratio.
    But, guess what? It’s going to get worse! With the great tidal wave of illegal immigrants coming in to our country, the simple numbers point to ALL OF US facing longer wait times in the ERs, for the ORs, and in our patient rooms where we WILL wait for bathroom assistance, dressing changes, meal trays, help with bathing, routine medicines, pain medicines, call-light responses….get the idea?!?!? If you go into a hospital overnight, please bring someone with you who will help you and will be your advocate. Document everything….names, times, meds, reactions. A good nurse will NOT be mad at you…on the contrary, they should applaud your help and your documentation. This is the only way improvements can be made.
    Each hospital in this area has excellent nurses and good administrators. But each hospital also has incompetent and illicit crouchers…..uh, I meant patient-care personnel.
    The days of blind loyalty are over, folks. Pay attention and expect competency.

  9. I hear that the DNV (their version of The Joint Commission) is at Piedmont Augusta today. This is the one day that I hope they staff just as horribly as they do every other day, and if they call nurses to beg for them to come in; I hope the nurses have previously scheduled plans and appointments. They already had a case open with the DNV or with medicaid/Medicare. It’d be great if someone could dig into that. Let’s pull back the covers and show the public what’s really going on in this hospital that has restricted visitors for years using the pandemic as the reason that families can’t be present to oversee the care.

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