Union nurses protest staffing levels at California hospital

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Nurses at St. Joseph Hospital, Eureka (Calif.), part of St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County, picketed March 15 over staffing issues, according to a News Channel 3 report.

The picket was orchestrated by the California Nurses Association. Participants protested against "chronic understaffing" and advocated for "safe patient ratios," according to the report.

"When nurses protest, mostly they protest for safe patient ratios, because safety is our concern," said picketer Thia Bashemin, according to News Channel 3. "It's rarely about money. Today is about safety and making sure every nurse it entitled to their breaks, their downtime, their lunches and safe patient ratios."

The hospital refuted the union's assertions in a statement to Becker's Hospital Review.

Tammy Bark, RN, CNO of St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County, said the California Department of Public Health recently found the hospital was in full compliance regarding staffing. She also said hospital officials "have been and remain committed to ensuring that all our caregivers receive their breaks and meal periods and that they are uninterrupted. If these breaks are interrupted, we have procedures in place to ensure that our caregivers may either restart their break or be compensated appropriately."

Both sides are not currently in negotiations for a new contract.



More articles on human capital and risk: 
Judge dismisses nurses' lawsuit against DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital: 6 things to know
18k Kaiser nurses vote for option to strike at California facilities
Union nurses in Michigan host patient safety rally at Ascension hospital

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