A former employee at the Wanaque Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Passaic County said that they were often short-lived and…
A former employee at the Wanaque Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Passaic County said that they were often short-lived and that the beds filled at the nursing home were “an important priority” – even when patients needed medical care.
Sherry McGhie, who worked as a 27-year-old Certified Nurse at Wanaque, also told a Senate Committee investigating the lethal outbreak in Wanaque’s pediatric wing that conditions would be noticeably improved when managers knew state inspectors were on their way.
“During the inspection season, there are more staff and supplies, and even the management comes out and lays a helping hand,” said McGhie to the Senate Health, Human and Senior Citizens’ Committee in the statehouse in Trenton on Monday.
“Sometimes it feels like we’re on a show. In fact, one of the first things that happen when a state inspector enters the building is a message sent over the intercom, saying” in and out of 1
00 add-on ” , says McGhie, a member of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers. “Extension 100 is the codeword for” The state is here, it’s show time. “”
5 children were dead. But no one told the NJ Health Commissioner for almost 2 weeks
Former employees, trade union representatives and a lawyer representing six of the families affected by the outbreak of adenovirus participated in the nearly three hour hearing held to discuss how 35 children were infected and 11 died.
McGhie, who left Wanaque in September, echoed many of the same feelings of two workers told NJ Advance Media last month about how managers delayed sending children who nailed high fevers to a hospital, were worried that transfers would immediately stop Medicaid funding. McGhie testified that in her experience she worked in both the pediatric and geriatric unit that the Administration was to keep the patients in the nursing home and not send them to the hospital.
Wanaque representatives did not participate in the hearing. The administrator, Rowena Bautista, sent a letter to the committee against allegations that financial interests were being taken care of the physically fragile children in the facility.
“We realize that your hearing on Monday would have allowed us to describe for you and the public’s extraordinary compassion and dedication to our staff. We would have been particularly grateful to deal with and dispel claims against the opposite who has become swirled in the press, in particular, that a financial motive would ever prevail over the caregivers’ judgment, “Bautista said.” These suggestions are categorically false. “
Deborah White, chairman of healthcare and allied employees, another union in Wanaque, said 19659002] Secretary of State Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, chairman of the committee, challenged his testimony. He read from an inspection report documenting how employees did not wash their hands or change their gloves.
“You would think that the RNs (Registered Nurse hurts) would know what to do and what not to do, “Vitale adds and there is” no excuse “for the violations.
White replied, “I have been a nurse for 35 years. We can look at the individual failures or we can look at the system and send to – the crew (problem) is huge.”
Vitale said he should wait State Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal and the Health Department to complete an outbreak investigation until he would make recommendations to improve how health care should react in the future.