UC Irvine To Fire Whistleblower Nurse?

This is not Ethel Mark, but isn't she so cute?
This is not Ethel Mark, but isn't she so cute?
Paul Schultz

A cardiac care nurse at UC Irvine who raised questions about faulty narcotics pumps, proper nurse rotations and mandatory breaks was notified by management that she could expect to fired in early July, according to the California Nurses Association.

Ethel Mark, who's worked at UCI Medical Center for seven years, and a nurse's committee at the hospital have been pushing their managers to curb unsafe "floating" conditions, (nurses who aren't properly trained to operate patients' heart monitors are required to work shifts in the unit), to give nurses -- who work 12-hour shifts -- their proper breaks, and to replace faulty narcotic pumps (six months ago UCI pulled one third of all of these pumps because they failed mechanical tests). As of now, according to the Nurses Association, the remaining malfunctioning pumps still haven't been replaced or fixed.

Nurses are holding a vigil tonight outside of UC Irvine Medical Center to protest the impending firing of Mark, who the association says is being targeted for being a patient advocate and whistleblower. Jill Furillo an RN and Southern California Director of the California Nurses Association (CNA), which represents UC nurses says nurses are obligated to be patient advocates, and to act accordingly if they believe that their managers are making decisions that may hurt their patients. "Ethel Mark, RN had a legal and ethical obligation under the state's Nursing Practice Act to challenge unsafe practices and she acted accordingly," she said in a press release sent to the Weekly today.

Vigil details after the jump...

Patient Advocacy Vigil
When:          Tuesday, June 30, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Where:         UC Irvine Medical Center
(by shuttle stop)
                    101 The City Drive South • Orange, CA 92868


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