Understaffed California hospital 'senselessly' furloughing nurses, union says

Nurses at West Hills (Calif.) Hospital & Medical Center protested June 18 what they say is understaffing and inadequate personal protective equipment at the facility, according to The Press-Enterprise.

The nurses are members of SEIU Local 121RN, which represents registered nurses and licensed healthcare professionals in California. 

"Nurses in the COVID-19 units care for more patients than they can safely handle. They desperately need more RNs on their floors, while at the same time, too many of their colleagues are senselessly furloughed or called off," the union stated in a news release.

The union said nurses also report "a dangerous lack of personal protective equipment" and want the hospital to do a better job of protecting and supporting them amid the pandemic. The nurses also worry they could spread the virus to uninfected patients, the newspaper said.

The hospital, which is owned by Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, said it's doing its best under trying circumstances.

In a statement provided to The Press-Enterprise on June 18, the hospital said "West Hills Hospital is doing everything in our power to ensure safety, including securing additional PPE for current and future needs, enacting a universal masking policy, providing scrub laundering service and housing options for all colleagues caring for COVID-19 patients."

Read the full report here


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