Worcester's St. Vincent Hospital Plans Nurse Furloughs

St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester. (Screenshot via Google Maps)
St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

A Worcester hospital run by a for-profit company plans to furlough some nurses as the coronavirus pandemic cuts into some services.

St. Vincent Hospital, which is owned by Tenet Healthcare of Dallas, said Thursday all the furloughs would be voluntary.

“Over the last several weeks up until late yesterday, we have been working diligently with the Massachusetts Nurses Association to come to an agreement on the best way to address the staffing challenges posed by the current environment,” hospital spokeswoman Rhiana Sherwood said in a statement to The Telegram & Gazette. “Like numerous health care providers, we have been acutely impacted by the stay-at-home advisory and government orders cancelling elective procedures, which have forced us to temporarily close hospital services and units where activity is limited.”

David Schildmeier of the Massachusetts Nurses Association said he was disappointed with the furloughs.

St. Vincent Hospital nurses on the union negotiating committee on Wednesday unanimously rejected a proposal by Tenet Healthcare that would require nurses to work in areas of the hospital in which they did not have proper training or experience.

Sherwood said nurses would never be made to work in a role for which they were not appropriately trained.



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