ANAHEIM: Nurses Concerned about Being Replaced at Convention Center
Tension is brewing between registered nurses who work at the Anaheim Convention Center and the city, as the nurses claim that the city "is out to replace them" with emergency medical technicians, the Orange County Register reports. But convention-center operators contend that to address a nursing shortage, they want "to complement, not replace" the nursing staff with EMTs to boost its staffing pool to about 18 or 20. Last year, the center attracted 780,000 visitors, a number that is expected to increase to 2.4 million visitors through 2018, making operators feel the need to "make sure medical services are adequate." Gary Groves, convention-center tenant services manager, said that the city "recently recruited for nurses to fill out its pool of 12 people available to work as needed, but received no responses." Convention-center manager David Meek added, "We are in no way, shape or form trying to get rid of nurses here. Far from it. We are having a problem getting nurses to apply." But nurses "worry that front-line health care at the center will suffer." Margaret Martin, a nurse who has worked for the center for almost five years, said nurses are not applying because the city will not offer the $2-$4 extra an hour that nurses can get at other jobs. EMTs will be paid the same $13.93 an hour that nurses now receive. Convention-center managers and nurses union representatives will meet with the city's human resources director March 14 to explain their concerns (Sanchez, 3/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.