What can nurses do? #

If you are in one of the high-risk categories (pregnant, under­lying health condi­tion, age 60+)

  1. Consult with your health care provider about your need for a reason­able accom­mo­da­tion and request a written note.
  2. Submit a note from your doctor with your written request for accom­mo­da­tion to Terra Weeks in HR terrawee@uw.edu to request to move to a low-risk assignment.
  3. If you accepted an assign­ment, but during the assign­ment felt that you were not adequately trained or that you didn’t have proper PPE, fill out an ADO at www​.wsna​.org/ado to document a paper trail. You and your WSNA Nurse Rep will automat­i­cally receive a copy when you submit this online.

If you are not in a high-risk category, but you feel that you have not been adequately trained to accept the assign­ment you are given:

  1. Ask your manager to change your assign­ment to one that you have the training to safety complete. Be prepared to describe why you are not trained/​prepared to perform in the current assignment.
  2. Document that you submitted this assign­ment change request to your manager by visiting www​.wsna​.org/ado and writing it in the section at the bottom labeled I have another concern not listed above.” This will ensure that you have written evidence that you lacked training and/​or PPE for that assign­ment. You and your WSNA Nurse Rep will automat­i­cally receive a copy when you submit this online.

WSNA Contract Language on Floating. 

Article 5.6 of our CBA with UWNW addresses floating. Nurses required to float within the hospital shall receive orien­ta­tion appro­priate to the assign­ment. In the event floating is neces­sary, a reason­able effort will be made to float a nurse within the specialty area; however, a nurse may be floated outside their specialty area as staff helper, unless the nurse agrees and is quali­fied to take a patient assign­ment. Orien­ta­tion will be depen­dent upon the nurse’s previous experi­ence and famil­iarity with the nursing unit to which such nurse is assigned. Nurses will be expected to perform all basic nursing functions but will not be required to perform tasks or proce­dures specif­i­cally applic­able to the nursing unit for which they are not quali­fied or trained to perform. The Employer will not assign float nurses as charge nurse or lead nurse unless mutually agree­able. Proba­tionary nurses will not be required to float except in emergency situa­tions where skill and compe­tence to perform the work required allow. The order of rotation will be on an equitable rotation to be deter­mined on each unit.”

WSNA guidance on assignments:

You may have to decide about accepting an assign­ment involving abnor­mally dangerous condi­tions that pose an imminent risk to your safety and health and could poten­tially cause serious injury or death. If you have already accepted the assign­ment your profes­sional license may be at risk if you fail to continue that assign­ment, unless you have handed off the assign­ment and been relieved of respon­si­bility for the patient.

If you decide to refuse the assign­ment, you should remain at the workplace and offer to perform other work that does not pose an imminent risk to your safety and health (e.g., an assign­ment for which you are provided proper safety equip­ment and training). A decision to refuse an assign­ment could result in disci­pli­nary action taken against you by the employer. Under the collec­tive bargaining agree­ment between the employer and WSNA, there must be just cause” for any disci­pline. WSNA would defend you if you are subjected to unjust disci­pline, but resolu­tion of any such disci­pline would likely be delayed and the outcome may be uncer­tain as a result of the current national and state emergency declarations.