The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith

New nursing legislation poses negative impact on hospital budget and care quality

A grant and donation will fund a new transit van


Michele Smith

Columbia County Health System has received an award in the amount of four thousand dollars from Bill Clemens, Regional Business Manager for Pacific Power (center), to help with the purchase of a new Ford Transit van, to shuttle patients back and forth from their homes to medical appointments. CEO Shane McGuire (right) said both of the District's vans have exhausted their useful life, and that hospital officials hope to avoid paying for a van out of the operations budget. President of the Hospital Board of Commissioners Bob Hutchens (left) said the new van will be purchased through a company specializing in mobility transportation. The van will be up-fitted to accommodate two wheelchairs, or one gurney, for an estimated total cost of around $55,000.00.

DAYTON-In his report to the Hospital Board of Commissioners on April 23, CEO Shane McGuire talked about how a recent legislative ruling limiting nurses to eight hour shifts in a twenty-four-hour day, and providing for mandatory breaks and meal times, could impact patient care as well as the Hospital District's finances.

McGuire told the commissioners, "Nurses work 12 hour shifts by design. That's what they want. They want to work three days and have four days off."

He said nurses are saying shift change is the riskiest point in time for patients.

"Now a nurse will have to hand off (a pati...

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