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NYSNA Announces More Than 26,000 Official Complaints Were Filed By Nurses About ‘Not Enough’ Staff In Hospitals & Nursing Homes During The Last Two Years

Published Thursday, February 25, 2021
by NYSNA News
NYSNA Announces More Than 26,000 Official Complaints Were Filed By Nurses About ‘Not Enough’ Staff In Hospitals & Nursing Homes During The Last Two Years

(NEW YORK CITY) - The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) announced that 26,219 complaints have been filed by Nurses to hospital management about understaffing in hospitals and nursing homes during 2019 and 2020.

A total of 97,715 Nurse signatures appear on those complaints because multiple signatures are allowed on each complaint, NYSNA Officials said - which is the equivalent of almost 35.9 complaints per day, every day for 730 days.

This data includes complaints from Nurse Members in the NYC H+H/Mayorals Facilities, the backbone of care in New York City.

During 2019-2020 there were a total of 8,812 complaints about staffing, with 32,888 Nurses signing, NYSNA said.

“Both before and during the (Coronavirus) Pandemic, understaffing at our public hospitals has been severe and puts patients in jeopardy.  This condition in our hospitals continues today and our Nurses must care for far too many patients.  It is unsafe.  The communities we serve pay a price - in lives,” said NYSNA Board Member and Registered Nurse (RN) Judith Cutchin, who serves as President of NYSNA's NYC H+H/Mayorals Executive Council.

NYSNA - the largest Union and Professional Association for RNs, represents more than 42,000 Members across New York State.

The complaints are called ‘Protests of Assignment’ (POA) and are formal complaints given to hospital management.

The large number of complaints is further proof that Albany Lawmakers must pass the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act to ensure that all patients across the state get the care they need and deserve, Union Officials said.

Earlier this month, the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act moved out of the State Assembly Health Committee and is moving ahead to the Codes Committee.

It must be passed this year by the New York State Legislature and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, NYSNA Officials said.

The Nurse descriptions that accompany the POAs tell a scary story of what is really going on inside New York hospitals.

One Nurse writes: High acuity patients, many telemetry, restraint, 2:1 observation and multiple isolations.  Only 4 RN scheduled for shift.  1 RN out sick - no RN sent to relieve high ratios. Admissions from surgery as of this time.  Multiple patients on bed alarms, majority of floor high fall risk who require Staff to remain in bathroom.  Patient safety in jeopardy.

Another Nurse writes: There is 1 Nurse in Triage & EMS.  No Nurse in Asthma (HN covering Asthma).  Two (2) Nurses per Team. Inadequate time for documentation and to provide basic & advanced critical care to patients.  Lack of Staff.  Dangerous working conditions.  Working: 10 Nurses plus 1 Agency Nurse.  Needed 7 more Nurses.  Bed Capacity: 27 Census: 38

A third Nurse writes: Inadequate time for documentation and to provide basic and advanced critical care to patients.  Lack of Staff.  Dangerous working conditions.  Needed 7 more Nurses.

For More On This Labor News Story, Go To: www.nysna.org/press/2021/new-york-state-nurses-association-announces-over-26000-official-complaints-were-filed#.YDbA3ehKiiM And For More Information, Go To: www.campaignforpatientsafety.org.

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