More Nurses Needed at Jail

Currently, the Jail has two full time nurses and one part-time nurse, and those three employees work a total of over a hundred hours per week.

The number of nurses at the jail has not changed in over 10 years. Now Mercy Health Services, which supplies the nurses to the jail under a contract with the county, is threatening to refuse to renew that contract if changes aren't made.

In a letter to Sheriff Dave Drew, Mercy said that current staffing levels were inadequate for all of the tasks that need to be done for the 231 inmates at the Jail, 90 percent of whom need medications.

Both the nurses and the sheriff say the Board needs to act. "We do take pride in our job. We always want to do the best job at possible and many times we are stretched thin," said Registered Nurse David Stultz.

"What my fear is if that if nothing is done they just we are not going to continue the contract. And that we could afford to be without nurses. Cause of the acuity of care that many of the inmates need we have to have that nursing," said Drew. At today's meeting of the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors... the Board decided to put off a decision on adding nurses until next month.