Registered nurses raise workplace safety concerns as state faces chronic shortage – CBS Sacramento
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The United States has faced a chronic shortage of nurses for years.
Rosemary Amaral has always viewed nursing not just as a career, but as a calling.
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“I’ve always wanted to help people,” Amaral said.
She is a Registered Nurse at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock and has over 10 years of experience. On Wednesday, she will be one of many registered nurses to raise awareness about understaffing and high turnover rates at hospitals operated by Tenet Healthcare Corporation.
Although the California Nurses Association doesn’t call it a strike, it describes a grim reality. The union says Doctors Medical Center in Modesto lost 160 registered nurses while Emanuel Medical Center lost nearly 100 nurses.
Scarcity means missed breaks and meals.
Amaral says the healthcare provider has struggled to attract and retain nurses during the pandemic. The sentiment echoes a familiar scene when workers at Sutter Health facilities went on strike citing similar concerns earlier this month.
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Data shows that California is experiencing the most severe shortage of registered nurses. Projections show that state demand easily exceeds supply in 2030.
This spinoff means it could have an impact on the quality of patient care. If working conditions do not change, nurses fear that patient care will also be affected by workplace accidents and medical errors.
A Tenet spokesperson told CBS13 the company is negotiating with the union.
“Like many hospitals across the country, we’ve faced staffing challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, and we remain committed to doing everything we can to stay well-staffed,” said Tenet’s Krista Deans. “To support our healthcare teams, we have exercised all the options available to us. We work with our staffing agency to recruit traveling nurses and we are constantly working to recruit other nurses.
But time is running out for some like Amaral.
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“I considered leaving the hospital because it’s very morally taxing to know that you deal with these issues day in and day out,” she said.