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Opinion: Cutting Porter RN’s not the right way to save money

The news that a number of registered nurses will be laid off at Porter Hospital is disturbing. Porter Hospital obviously plays a very important role in our community and the wider area. RNs are on the front lines and give us advice about medications and treatment when we need it — they cannot be replaced by people with less training. How can we feel confident that we will receive safe patient care if and when we need it if staffing levels of these important providers are reduced at Porter Hospital?
Of course, the hospital faces budgetary realities. But shouldn’t patient care be the last, rather than the first, area to be trimmed if such trimming is necessary? I hope management will take another look, including at its own organization, and find a way to operate in a cost-effective manner that does not compromise patient care and safety.
Ellen Oxfeld
Middlebury

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