Reassigning staff is one of the non-economic topics being discussed during collective bargaining between Dimensions Healthcare System (DHS) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the union that represents approximately 800 DHS registered nurses.

DHS’ position is that when patient volume on one unit is low and on another unit it’s high, DHS should be able to provide qualified nurses with the opportunity to work the other unit when it is clinically similar and within their scope of practice.

DHS’ top priority is to provide safe, quality patient care. Reassignments – commonly known as “floating” and “pulling” in hospitals – is a standard practice in health care. DHS is better able to serve its patients by providing a qualified nurse, who’s already onsite, with the opportunity to care for a patient than to send that nurse home and call in another nurse, who is generally assigned to that particular unit.

Nurse managers are accountable for properly staffing units, but they cannot anticipate unexpected call-ins or fluctuations in patient volume, which are the types of circumstances under which DHS may need to reassign a nurse to a clinically similar unit. DHS has proposed to reassign nurses under certain circumstances and to do so among clinically similar units where the reassigned nurses have necessary competencies.

Having this flexibility to more effectively manage its workforce, allows Dimensions Healthcare System to better serve its patients and provide the level of care that they expect.

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Created in 1982, Dimensions Healthcare System is an integrated not-for-profit, community-owned organization providing comprehensive, quality healthcare services to the residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland and surrounding areas. read more →