POSTED: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 8:37am
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 3:33pm
EL PASO (KTSM) — Richard Lamar, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, spoke on behalf of his wife at Congressman Beto O'Rourke's town hall meeting on Sunday. His wife, a nurse practitioner at the Hugo Mendoza Clinic in the William Beaumont Army Medical Center, said employees are overworked and understaffed.
"She comes in at 7 o'clock in the morning. She doesn't leave until 6 o'clock at night. She works through her lunch hour," he said.
Even then, he said she brings her military computer home and charts after she gets off work.
She works an average of 15 hours of overtime a week without compensation.
She's addressed her concerns with the clinic as well as the union, but has found no relief.
The union has advised her to work her scheduled hours, take her lunch when she's supposed to, and complete the amount of work she's able to during her time, but Lamar said, "It's not that simple."
"The command's response to doing anything like that in the past has been to target them, harass them, and fire them so she's in a no win situation," he said.
Which is why he brought it to the attention of Congressman O'Rourke who said he was surprised by the comments made by two individuals regarding this issue.
"They really spoke to the inability to pay doctors, providers, and nurses, what it's going to take to keep them there, providing great service, and recruiting them here to El Paso to serve in the first place," O'Rourke said.
An issue, he said, that affects more than just the employees.
"Men and women in uniform, as do our veterans, deserve the very best in medical attention, and access to that medical attention and if we're not delivering it at William Beaumont, and we found that's the case at the VA, then we need to take steps to correct that," O'Rourke said.
We reached out to William Beaumont Army Medical Center and are waiting for a response at this time.