Nurses at Kaiser hospital in San Rafael say staffing levels too low, hospital wants to reduce staffing further
Gay Westfall, senior vice president of human resources for Kaiser's hospitals in Northern California, stated in a press release, "We have reached out to CNA to have a conversation about aligning staffing with the current numbers of patients in our hospitals, which is declining for all the right reasons — quality, service and improved utilization. We have not discussed layoffs."
Westfall went on to say that Kaiser is "seeing an ongoing shift in care delivery from the hospital to other settings such as outpatient clinics, and from those clinics to patients' homes, over the phone and online." ...
... Colleen Gibbons, one of the nurses who picketed in San Rafael Wednesday, said, "We're here to provide excellent care to our patients, and Kaiser keeps understaffing us and making it more difficult to provide that care."
Gibbons said nurses at the Kaiser hospital in San Rafael have filled out 300 Assignment Despite Objection forms so far this year — 69 during the month of November. Nurses file the forms to document formal objections to an unsafe, or potentially unsafe, patient care assignment.
Julie Puccinelli, a medical-surgical nurse who has worked at the San Rafael hospital for five years, said, "It's a way to protect ourselves when we feel an assignment jeopardizes our license." Puccinelli said she had filed "a couple of" ADO's herself.
Puccinelli said the patients she is seeing are sicker than in previous years and need more care than ever. She said that may be because Kaiser is "trying not to admit as easily as they used to" and is sending patients home sooner.
Pat Tomasello, a nurse who works in the intensive care unit of Kaiser's San Rafael hospital, said, "It's harder to get admitted into the hospital. It's harder to stay as a patient, and the mantra now is, 'Your family can take better care of you at home.' That is provided you have a family that knows how and is available."