Nurses in New York Threaten to Strike
The nurses are concerned about understaffing at three major hospitals that are putting patients lives at risk
Nurses at three of the biggest hopsitals in New York City have voted to strike unlessthe hospitals take action to stop the understaffing problem that is putting patients at risk. Find out more by reading the story below from ABC. You can also watch the full press conference below.
Registered nurses at three New York City hospital systems are threatening to strike, claiming that staffing shortages put patients at risk and medical centers have ignored their complaints.
Nurses rallied at a Midtown hotel Thursday morning to announce a strike authorization vote.
The strike would affect more than 10,000 nurses at Mt. Sinai, NewYork-Presbyterian, and Montefiore. These nurses have reportedly worked without a contract since December.
"Year after year, protest after protest, these hospital administrators ignore us. What choice do we have?" said Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, a nurse at Montefiore Hospital and president of NYSNA.
The strike is a response to conditions inside hospitals and staffing shortages, and last year, around 20,000 nurses filed roughly 4,000 complaints, according to the New York State Nurses Association.
Nurses said because of these staffing shortages, patients are mistreated, nurses are taking care of people they aren't trained to care for, and nurses routinely miss breaks "at an alarming rate."
For example, one complaint reported that patients were left on stretchers in hallways with days at a time with no privacy due to lack of staff and space. The complaints also noted that only three on-duty registered nurses have cared for 44 babies in the newborn intensive care unit at a time.
"In a medical unit, four patients is really the limit for safety. Some of us are taking care of seven, eight, nine, and covering when other people go on a break, 18 patients, 19 patients, and in the emergency room, the numbers are even higher," Sheridan-Gonzalez said.