UCLA nurses plan protest over unsafe patient conditions

Unsafe placement of patients, double use of rooms and emergency room hallways crowded with patient beds are among the complaints cited by University of California Los Angeles nurses who are set to protest the conditions March 1. 

Nurses will protest outside Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. 

"We have tried to warn UCLA about the existing patient safety issues with shared rooms," Mary Gay Dacquel, RN, said in a Feb. 27 news release from the California Nurses Association, which represents more than 18,000 nurses at the University of California. "UCLA has ignored our recommendations and refused to tell us their plan after the [California Department of Public Health] waiver expires."

The California Nurses Association, an affiliate of National Nurses United, noted in its release that the alleged issues have been ongoing for months, and "union nurses are deeply concerned about eroding patient care conditions and the lack of patient privacy and dignity due to the ongoing use of shared rooms and hallway beds." 

The protest is the second set to take place this week, after University of California San Francisco nurses also issued a news release alleging unsafe working conditions and the systems' failure to adhere to mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios. UCSF nurses will protest conditions Feb. 28.

Becker's reached out to UCLA Health for comment and received the following statement in response from Phil Hampton, director of communications: "The safety of our patients, nurses and all staff is always UCLA Health’s overriding priority. 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. We value the commitment and input of nurses and continue to work in good faith to address topics raised by their union."

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