HCA hospital nurses claim inadequate staffing is hindering care of pregnant patients

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Labor and delivery nurses at HCA Healthcare's MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas have alleged there are not enough nurses to provide safe care for pregnant patients and their unborn children, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The nurses, members of National Nurses Organizing Committee-Nevada/National Nurses United, expressed their concerns Aug. 10 during an informational picket.

Because of staffing issues, labor and delivery nurses say they at times have to decide which laboring patients and babies to care for first, according to the union. The union also contended that staffing is often inadequate, according to nurses, for patients who need one-on-one critical care, and for those being triaged when arriving at MountainView.

"No new mother, no family should have to worry whether they will receive the focused care they need when they come to the hospital to bring a child into the world. We are appalled that we cannot guarantee they will have safe staffing at all times for the intensive process of delivering a baby," Nicole Taylor, RN, and chief nurse representative for the union, said in a news release.

The nurses' concerns come as nurses at MountainView Hospital are in contract negotiations. Bargaining began in May, and the last contract expired June 30.

Jennifer McDonnell, director of public relations and communications for the hospital, told Becker's the hospital respects the right of unions to hold an informational picket, and the hospital's goal is to reach a labor deal with the union "that supports a culture of colleague safety, care excellence and compassion."

"Patient care is of the utmost importance, and we are always looking ahead to make sure our staffing is at appropriate levels. We will continue to work tirelessly to care for our patients, support our care teams, and continually improve," Ms. McDonnell said.

"Unfortunately, the national nurse staffing shortage is a difficult challenge for hospitals throughout the U.S. and is at critical levels for certain parts of the country. We are doing everything in our power to retain and recruit new nurses to our community, from shift bonuses to new grad programs," she said.

MountainView is part of HCA Healthcare, a for-profit hospital operator based in Nashville, Tenn.

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