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Amarillo nurse calls 'safe harbor' at NWTH

Northwest Texas Hospital, Amarillo


W

hen a nurse feels she has been asked to perform an assignment she believes is unsafe for a patient, she can invoke something called "safe harbor".


S

aturday afternoon, a nurse decided to do that at
Northwest Texas Hospital.



"

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he nurse called a safe harbor but in a very short period of time it was rescinded because we were able to bring in the appropriate staff

,

"


said Caytie Martin, Northwest Texas Hospital spokesperson.


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nonymously, one nurse called
Pronews Seven to tell us about her concerns.


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he said she has worked at the hospital for many years, and said she was worried about the situation and concerned the emergency room could be closed down temporarily.


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he
ER was not shut down but it did have some overcrowding.



"

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e experienced a surge in our patient population

," said Martin.



"S

o because of that surge we went on diversion, that means we do not accept any ambulance traffic."


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n that situation, if a patient is being transported by ambulance, he would have to be taken to another accepting facility.



"

W

e continue to except trauma and stemis-which is with the heart because that is by law."


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hey also continue to accept walk-ins.


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ut again,
Martin says Northwest Texas Hospital was able to rescind the safe harbor call quickly.


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urses who call safe harbor have the chance to go to a peer review and explain what they feel is best for them and their patients.


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he nurse in Saturday's scenario will not suffer any repercussions -- including repercussions with a nursing license.

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