Nurses and Firefighters to Issue Joint Call for Emergency Room Safety at Inland Valley

April 2013

Nurses and Firefighters to Issue Joint Call for Emergency Room Safety at Inland Valley

CONTACT: Christy McConville, 909-451-3581

Murrieta, CA—Murrieta registered nurses and firefighters today will launch a campaign seeking local elected official support for a dedicated dispatch nurse at Inland Valley Medical Center, where a Mobile Intensive Care Nurse should be available around the clock to guide local paramedics responding to emergencies.

Mobile Intensive Care Nurses (MICN) are registered nurses working in the emergency department of a regional trauma center who have advanced training on paramedic protocols. These dispatch nurses take radio and telephone calls from field paramedics and help treat patients under the paramedics’ care. At Inland Valley Medical Center, MICNs are frequently given their own emergency patients to treat, which can cause them to miss emergency calls and is a violation of the law governing their duties in working with paramedics.

“For months now, nurses and firemen have been asking the hospital to put patients first by ensuring a dedicated MICN in the emergency department. Today we are reaching out to our Assemblywoman as a first step in getting our local government’s help. A Mobile Intensive Care Nurse needs to focus on working with paramedics to save lives in emergency situations. Inland Valley Medical Center must put patient safety first and ensure that MICNs are not assigned emergency patients as well as being responsible for answering paramedic calls,” said Inland Valley MICN Dave Colmer.

“Our work is more than just fighting fires,” said Dean Hale, President of the Murrieta Firefighters Association. “I’m a paramedic. We take patients to the ER, where the nurses are the next step in the patient care chain. We’re all patient care advocates, intent on continuous care of each and every patient through the whole emergency system. The MICN should not be assigned patients. We need the MICN’s undivided attention when we radio the hospital to say we’re coming in with an emergency patient. By the same token, patients in the ER deserve the dedicated attention of a nurse who doesn’t have one ear out listening for a radio call. These could be matters of life and death for the members of this community.”

Local nurses and firemen are bringing their concerns on behalf of patient safety at Inland Valley Medical Center to local elected officials, starting with Assemblywoman Melendez this afternoon. They will ask elected officials to ensure each shift at the Inland Valley Medical Center emergency department has a dedicated dispatch nurse who is not assigned to care for and monitor emergency patients in addition to dispatch duties.


United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) is the largest nurses’ union in Southern California representing over 22,000 Registered Nurses and other health care professionals, including Optometrists; Pharmacists; Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists; Nurse Midwives; Social Workers; Clinical Lab Scientists; Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. UNAC/UHCP is affiliated with the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.