NAPE raises red flag over blood collection changes

“The MLAs were also instructed to train the RNs on performing the blood collection — in essence, to train their replacements.” — Carol Furlong, NAPE President

St. John's (25 March 2015) — Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) President Carol Furlong is expressing her concern about a recent development at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in St. John’s that is negatively affecting medical laboratory assistants, as well as violating the workers' collective agreement.

Trained medical laboratory assistants no longer responsible for blood collection

“Among other tasks, medical laboratory assistants (MLAs) are responsible for blood collection. Yesterday, MLAs at St. Clare’s were told, out of the blue and with no justification for the change, that registered nurses (RNs) will now be responsible for blood collection,” said Furlong. “The MLAs were also instructed to train the RNs on performing the blood collection — in essence, to train their replacements.”

“Eastern Health cannot justify such an action, which is clearly a violation of the collective agreement,” stated Furlong. “Not only will this take work away from those who are specifically trained to do blood collection and perform thousands of these procedures, it also means that their workload will be shifted onto nursing staff who, like many in our health care system, are already overburdened. The change also means that blood collection will be performed by the most expensive option, with no improvements in outcomes.”

“Obviously, we will immediately address this policy change with Eastern Health in order to reverse this decision,” continued Furlong. “Health care workers are already under enough stress and strain; sudden and drastic changes like this only exacerbate that sentiment.”


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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