Ellis nurse: Wait times longest he’s seen in 20+ years

[anvplayer video=”5190485″ station=”998132″]

Ellis Hospital Registered Nurse Fred Durocher says they’ve seen long wait times similar to the ones happening at Albany Medical Center.

Durocher explains nurses are now expected to handle more patients, making the nurse-to-patient ratio the highest he’s seen in his 20-plus career. “It’s bad for patients,” he said. “We’ve had patients wait in our waiting rooms for 14 to 15 hours, and as much as the hospitals say it’s about staffing, it’s also about economics to them.”

He says a lot of these changes happened during the pandemic. In-patient beds for med surge, psychiatric, and pediatric were closed, and still have not reopened, leaving more people in the emergency room, which means longer wait times. “You have med surge nurses that are just afraid going into their assignments with their ratios being so high, the bad patient outcomes, the emotional toll that takes on the nurse, they’re burning them out as fast as they’re replacing them,” he said.

It’s unfair to both staff and patients, he added.