NEW ROCHELLE — The strike for nurses at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital is over, but upon returning to work Thursday, many of the health care workers were told to go home.
A lack of patient care, a fight for more staffing and a call to improve wages and benefits sent nearly 200 nurses from the New Rochelle hospital to the picket line Tuesday outside their workplace for a two-day strike.
On Thursday, AIR11 captured the New York State Nurses Association workers returning to the hospital, only to be turned away and locked out throughout the day.
These health care workers have put their lives in danger on the front lines, caring for the critically ill since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid a pandemic, and a potentially vicious second wave, dozens of nurses are now unable to return to work.
During the strike many patients at Montefiore New Rochelle were transferred to other hospitals, and units designated for COVID patients closed down.
According to the nurses’ union, the emergency department typically starts with four nurses in the morning, but on Thursday staffing was down to just three.
Concerns are growing over COVID-19 patients and non-COVID patients being mixed together on the same floor as nurses say the patient to nurse ratio is not enough.
Union leaders made the point that if the hospital can shut down within one day and arrange a transport, they should be able to reopen quickly and return to full services.
At this time it’s unclear exactly how many nurses have returned to work.
PIX11 has reached out to Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital but had not heard back as of Friday morning.