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.
" T he nurse called a safe harbor but in a very short period of time it was rescinded because we were able to bring in the appropriate staff , " said Caytie Martin, Northwest Texas Hospital spokesperson.
A nonymously, one nurse called Pronews Seven to tell us about her concerns.
S 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.
T he ER was not shut down but it did have some overcrowding.
" W 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."
I 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."
T hey also continue to accept walk-ins.
B ut again, Martin says Northwest Texas Hospital was able to rescind the safe harbor call quickly.
N 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.
T he nurse in Saturday's scenario will not suffer any repercussions -- including repercussions with a nursing license.