Thousands of University of California patient care workers are back on the job today after a two-day strike at five UC medical centers demanding better patient care and safe staffing levels. Outside the centers, members of
AFSCME Local 3299
—the nurses, surgical and X-ray technicians, custodians, servers, cooks and others who keep one of the largest medical systems in the country running—chanted:
What’s this about? Patient care! All day, all night—safe staffing is our fight.
When nurses are forced to carry a heavy patient load because of understaffing, the first to suffer are the patients. Several speakers at a Washington, D.C., City Hall press conference Monday said that legislation to establish a nurse-to-patient safe staffing ratio would protect patients’ safety and care.
Another major study shows that California’s landmark nurse to-patient staffing ratio law improves the quality of patient care and enhances registered nurse staffing.
, by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Arizona State University, also refutes predictions promoted by healthcare industry opponents of the California law that hospitals might respond by disproportionately hiring lower-skill licensed vocational nurses.