Chronic under staffing is no joke. With nurses and doctors! My dad sat in the emergency room last Friday with pneumonia from 12:00 noon until 12:30 Saturday morning waiting to see a doctor. This is not L.A. This is ABQ, a small city with hospitals everywhere and still he had to wait like this. Can't imagine what it is like in L.A.
One thousand two hundred registered nurses with the California Nurses Association (CNA), an affiliate of the National Nurses United (NNU), went on a weeklong strike last Tuesday that ends today, in demand of a first contract settlement with their employers at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center (LAMC). The CNA members say they want LAMC management agrees to a contract that fixes chronic understaffing that nurses argue is putting patients’ lives at risk.

The LAMC is the main hospital for Kaiser Permanente patients requiring specialized and critical care in southern California. Kaiser currently runs 800 medical facilities across the country (most of which are in California) and makes billions in yearly profits. But nurses have been critical of what they say is frequent understaffing. LAMC nurses who spoke with In These Times are adamant that management policies now in place make for dangerous working and healing conditions in the hospital. (Kaiser did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

California was the first U.S state to implement minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in 2004, but registered nurse Sandra Henke believes there are still holes caused by mismanagement. She says, “The problem is that Kaiser doesn’t give us resource nurses or break nurses so that when we go out on break that is mandated by law, the management says, ‘Here you cover that nurse that has 3 patients, and you take care of your own 3,’” therefore skewing the ratio.
Over 1,000 LA Nurses Finish Weeklong Strike Today, Saying Work Conditions Are Dangerous for Patients - Working In These Times