Valley Regional Nurses Fired For Speaking Out Against ICU Conditions

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Friday, December 2, 2011 - 11:09am

Registered Nurses from Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville say they were fired after they voiced concerns with work interfering with the safety of their patients.

"There are Texas state laws that protect nurses who blow the whistle on conditions in a hospital that endanger patients safety, and these nurses blew the whistle and they were fired because of it," said  David Van Os, the nurses' attorney.

Nurses stood outside the Cameron County courthouse today after hearing the judge would not make a ruling just yet...determining if in fact Valley Regional acted unjustly when firing 7 ICU nurses 6 months ago.

"The hospital is trying to get the judge to dismiss the nurses' lawsuit."

The nurses' representative, Attorney David Van Os believes the issue should be decided by the district court, despite the hospital's argument that it's a federal case.

"We vehemently disagree with that. the nurses law suit that was heard today arises under Texas laws that were passes by the Texas legislature that make it a duty on nurses to report patient safety violations," said Van Os.

The nurses say they were put in situations to choose between their patients at times, due to under staffing and heavy workloads.

Lynda Valdez has been an ICU nurse for over 10 years and was one of the nurses that chose to protect their patients by speaking out.

"Do you really think it's appropriate to choose which patient is more important? Do I choose your mother or do I choose your mother? No individual should ever be put into the position to make that decision," said Valdez.

"It's sad that even after losing our job in this economy...nothing changed," said Stephanie Gonzalez, another fired nurse from Valley Regional.

NewsCenter 23 tried contacting Valley Regional and they were unavailable for comment on the matter. We'll bring you any updates on the issue as it unfolds.

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