PALM SPRINGS — Erin Teran, a nurse at Desert Regional Medical Center, fears she might lose her job because of comments she made on social media in which she said Gov. Newsom “screwed nurses over” with changes to ratios and scope of practice.

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Erin Teran’s social media post

Saying California needs “thousands and thousands” more health care workers to treat the incoming wave of coronavirus patients, Gov. Gavin Newsom this week signed an executive order that gives state officials power to let medical professionals do a wider range of work and allow nurses to oversee more patients at a time.

He said the executive order will be in place through June 30, although the order itself does not mention that date.

So-called staffing ratio and ‘scope of practice’ regulations have been a controversial subject in the Legislature for years. Newsom didn’t say exactly how far his administration is going in terms of loosening those rules, but said they will give medical workers needed flexibility to fight the coronavirus.

The Nurses Association opposes changes to current staffing ratio requirements, which mandate that nurses can’t be tasked with caring for too many patients at once.

Teran declined to elaborate on her post when Uken Report contacted her.

“At this time I have no comments for the media,” she said via Messenger. “Thank you, however, for reaching out to me.”

Her post received generous support in terms of “Likes.”

Bill Holzhauer, a community activist from Cathedral City, has taken to his Facebook to champion for nurses. He, too, said, “Governor Newsom screwed nurses over ….”

Holzhauer recalled his own experience with hospitals in making his charges. Holzhauer said when his husband, Carlos, was sick in the hospital in 2018, he witnessed ICU nurses having to handle multiple patients at the same time. They struggled then in the absence of a global pandemic at the time.

Nurse Fears Retaliation for Facebook PostPlease don’t let these brave men and women have to deal with an even more difficult situation. The picture shown here should never become the new normal, he said.

“Changing ratios and standard practices would put undo pressure and stress on an already tired and overworked work force,” Holzhauer told Uken Report. It’s a struggle for nurses now with PPE. This move to change ratios/practices is a matter of cost. Sadly, it is not a cost we should be entertaining right now. These our first responders and in some cases the last person to have contact with COVID patients. Let’s be smart about having a caring heart now and look later to cut costs. Humanity is priceless.”

Image Sources

  • Overworked nurses: Facebook
  • Nurses in hallway: Shutterstock