NEW YORK CITY — Registered nurses from 13 facilities across New York City have voted to authorize a strike amid reports of the "horrendous conditions that patients are dealing with inside hospitals."
According to the New York State Nurses Association, inadequate staffing keeps nursing from giving patients the care they "need and deserve."
Last month, nurses protested their working conditions that they say jeopardized their patients' health.
In 2018, 20,000 nurses from Montefiore Medical Center, New York—Presybyterian Hospital and Mount Sinai, signed protests of assignment for unsafe conditions, including 6-hour wait time for pediatric patients in the emergency department, unsafe staffing in the neo-natal intensive care unit and patients stacked on stretchers in hallways for days waiting for an available room.
“In an ICU setting, choose between saving one person’s life and what’s going on down hallway," says Katie Paccione, a neuro-NICU nurse.
An official 10-day notice of intent to strike will be served next month, giving time for management to address the issues.
The City Hospital Alliance says they are meeting patient needs with “flexible staffing.”
The NYS Nurses Association cited the following concerns from various reports:
Insufficient number of staff, high acuity: Unit census was 21 at start of shift with two admissions to be received. Now census is 26 with an additional two patients en route. A total of 11 admissions will be received on this shift. No CNAs on floor. One ventilated patient, two with tracheotomy, one on restraints, three isolations, multiple incontinent patients, three pressure ulcers, one blood transfusion, all call bells ringing but nurses are busy with admissions, over 20 patients on fall risk.
Health and safety: Insufficient space, hallway patients, patients stacked in rows, unable to access patients in a timely manner, temperature in emergency department 76 degrees on west side, air conditioning not working on east side and area is very hot and uncomfortable, inadequate ventilation, unable to comply with appropriate infection control. Patients waiting days to get a bed and aggressive to staff.
Members of the New York State Nurses Association speak as registered nurses vote to authorize a strike, affecting more than 10,000 nurses.