What can nurses do? #
If you are in one of the high-risk categories (pregnant, underlying health condition, age 60+)
- Consult with your health care provider about your need for a reasonable accommodation and request a written note.
- Submit a note from your doctor with your written request for accommodation to Terra Weeks in HR email@example.com to request to move to a low-risk assignment.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.