UC nurses call out practices they say put patients at risk

Nurses at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus in San Francisco are raising awareness about their concerns regarding working conditions at the facilities, according to the Los Angeles Times.

UCLA nurses, who are members of the California Nurses Association, say unsafe placement of patients, double use of rooms and emergency room hallways crowded with patient beds are among their concerns. They held a rally March 1 to urge leaders to address the issues.

Dianne Sposito, RN, an emergency room nurse at UCLA Medical Center, told the LA Times overcrowding in the emergency room is jeopardizing patient care.

"I feel sorry for those people that are waiting in that emergency room for a long time," she said, according to the publication. "They don't have sinks and bathrooms like they would in their room, you know what I mean? They're stuck in a hallway with a few curtains around them."

Nurses at the UC hospitals also voiced concerns about what they say is putting two patients into single-occupancy rooms. Kate Garzero, a nurse at UCSF Medical Center, described the issue as "playing 'Tetris'" in the LA Times article. 

A spokesperson for UCLA Health said in an email statement to the newspaper that hospital officials "value the commitment and input of nurses" and are working to address their concerns.

"The safety of our patients, nurses and all staff is always UCLA Health's overriding priority," the statement said, according to the LA Times. "UCLA Health carefully tracks bed availability, patient discharges, planned procedures, supplies and other data around the clock to inform strategic decisions about staffing, use of overflow areas and use of a limited number of shared patient rooms when necessary to accommodate high volumes of patients seeking care."

A spokesperson for UC San Francisco said in an email statement to the newspaper, "UCSF complies with California Department of Public Health requirements, including staffing ratios and the use of space."

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