Wash. charge nurse who asked for EMS help in ED says she would do it again

Kelsay Irby wrote an opinion piece expressing her dedication to patients "no matter what it might cost”


By Leila Merrill
EMS1 Staff

SILVERDALE, Wash. — The charge nurse who called to get EMS assistance with being understaffed and trying to treat the nearly 50 people in the St. Michael Medical Center emergency department waiting room on Oct. 8 says she would do it again.

Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue monitored vital signs and cleaned beds that night.

St. Michael Medical Center has said it is addressing its staffing issue through efforts such as signing bonuses, loan forgiveness programs, staffing incentives, shift premiums and investments in career development.
St. Michael Medical Center has said it is addressing its staffing issue through efforts such as signing bonuses, loan forgiveness programs, staffing incentives, shift premiums and investments in career development. (Photo/St. Michael Medical Center)

More than 30 healthcare organizations have urged President Joe Biden to convene a summit on emergency department delays

Kelsay Irby wrote an opinion piece for Nurse.org about her dedication to patients, and said she did not know her action would make headlines.

“People ask, would I make that call again, knowing what I know now about the aftermath and its effect on public, personal and professional levels?  And my answer is an unhesitating, resounding yes.  Without a doubt.  Because along with all the other things we as nurses are taught, the number one thing we do, that we internalize on a level most cannot understand, is advocate for our patients, to use our voice and our leverage when they have none, no matter what it might cost us.”

A hospital statement given to Nurse.org said St. Michael is addressing its staffing issue through efforts such as signing bonuses, loan forgiveness programs, staffing incentives, shift premiums and investments in career development.

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