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Nurses 'Feeling Pressure'

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Nurses 'Feeling Pressure’

Nurses in the Intensive Care Unit of the Ann Arbor Veterans Administration Hospital are “feeling the pressure” from continuing FBI questioning related to unexplained deaths of patients, acknowledges Gary Calhoun, administrative assistant to the medical chief of staff.

He adds, however, that one nurses’s recent transfer from the unit, and resignations of at least two others, neither reflect FBI suggestions nor suggest that any are viewed as potential suspects.

Nurses in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) have been given an option by the hospital’s administrators to transfer temporarily if they wish, and one has moved to the education and training section, he said.

"She transferred at her own choice. We’ve given all nurses in ICU that option, if they’re upset about' the questioning. She can go back anytime she wants to. If she’d been viewed as a potential danger, she’d have been transferred a long time ago,” Calhoun said this morning.

"I assure you,” he added, “that the transfer was not made at the suggestion of the FBI.”

He added that the nurse who transferred is “probably being questioned more intensively than other nurses in the hospital, but not more intensively than others in the ICU’s p.m. (evening) shift,
because that’s when unexplained respiratory arrests occurred. If someone unauthorized came into that area, or something unusual happened, they’d be the ones who should know about it.”

Calhoun said contentions of inadequate security at the ICU, voiced on a Detroit television program Friday night by a nurse who resigned, are considered unjustified by the hospital staff because of the need for rapid access by physicians and other staff members. A contention that ICU staffing is inadequate in relation to the 11 beds at the unit is unwarranted because the average number of patients present is eight, he said.