For immediate Release:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

NAPE Raises Red Flag Over Blood Collection Change at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital

St. JOHN’S, NL – Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) President Carol Furlong is expressing her concern about a recent development at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in St. John’s which is negatively affecting Medical Laboratory Assistants as well as violating the worker’s collective agreement.

“Among other tasks, Medical Laboratory Assistants (MLAs) are responsible for blood collection. Yesterday, MLAs at St. Clare’s were told, out of the blue and with no justification for the change, that Registered Nurses (RNs) will now be responsible for blood collection,” said Furlong. “The MLAs were also instructed to train the RNs on performing the blood collection – in essence, to train their replacements.”

“Eastern Health cannot justify such an action which is clearly a violation of the collective agreement,” stated Furlong. “Not only will this take work away from those who are specifically trained to do blood collection and perform thousands of these procedures, it also means that their workload will be shifted onto nursing staff who, like many in our healthcare system, are already overburdened. The change also means that blood collection will be performed by the most expensive option with no improvements in outcomes.”

“Obviously we will immediately address this policy change with Eastern Health in order to reverse this decision,” continued Furlong. “Health care workers are already under enough stress and strain; sudden and drastic changes like this only exacerbate that sentiment.”

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For further information please contact:

Keith Dunne, NAPE Campaigns and Communications Coordinator

(phone) 709.570.2501  (cell) 709.631.9737   (e-mail)