Nurses, Staff Could Lose Jobs as Prince George's County Hospital Downsizes

Some nurses and other staff at Prince George's County Hospital are afraid they're going to lose their jobs as the hospital is doing some major restructuring and will be downsizing.

One of the units affected is the pediatric ward. A hospital without beds for sick children post operation or who are suffering with illness is too much for Renea Hicks, a lifelong registered nurse, to imagine.

“I’m really concerned as to what kind of care people are going to get,” she said.

For 21 years she’s cared for children at the Prince George’s County Hospital’s pediatric unit, which soon will be downsized to one bed on an adult floor, according to workers.

“We’re not sure whether they are going to say, ‘June 30 you actually leave the hospital, here’s your pink slip,’” Hicks said.

Acting union Vice President Gail Kingman said hospital’s vice president of human relations told her they also plan to downsize clerical staff and weekend alternative nurses at Laurel Regional Hospital.

“Right now they have 2,400 employees within Dimensions Healthcare System, and they plan on going down to 1900,” she said.

Some open jobs won’t be filled, and some employees will be given the opportunity to reapply for other jobs, but in the meantime families seeking care for their small children may find themselves traveling farther.

Hicks says many of their parents are financially challenged and already struggle to get their kids to Prince George’s Hospital.

A hospital spokesman released a statement saying, in part, “Dimensions Healthcare System has been and will continue to take a critical look at its organization to reduce costs while delivering safe, quality care to its patients. We expect the vast majority of our impacted employees to find new opportunities within the organization.”

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