KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The state auditor general is investigating the care and staffing at Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital after a request from state Sen. Winnie Brinks of Grand Rapids and Rep. Jon Hoadley of Kalamazoo.
“We started hearing concerns late last year, that there was issues with staffing, and having an adequate number of staff, that creating unsafe situations for both patients and employees,”Brinks said.
The information requested by Brinks and Hoadley revealed staff works a surprisingly high amount of overtime.
More than 20% of total hours worked in fiscal year 2018 were overtime. Sixty percent of staff regularly had overtime hours more than 25% greater than regular hours.
The findings also show staff and patients were injured while staff was working overtime or double shifts for employees who have direct patient contact, like nurses and nursing assistants.
Most overtime hours were done as a part of working a double shift, defined as longer than 12 hours of work. That increase in overtime was determined to be a result of a lack of qualified staff to perform necessary duties for patient care.
“It can be a very stressful job. And when you have staff that is working lots of overtime, and maybe not having the qualifications necessary to deal with the folks there, and the diagnosis there, it’s really not fair to the patients and the employees,” Brinks said.