Press Release

RNs at Doctors San Pablo Demand Resolution of Unsafe Patient Care Conditions

For Immediate Release
April 26, 2011
Informational picket Wed. April 27

Registered nurses at Doctor’s Medical Center, in San Pablo, are holding an informational picket on Wednesday April 27 to protest chronic unsafe nurse-to-patient staffing levels, that they say is jeopardizing patient safety at the facility. The unsafe staffing has led to nurses working without any meal or break relief, an exodus of senior experienced RNs from the facility, and an overreliance on costly temporary nurses.

Following the picket, the RNs, who are represented by the California Nurses Association, will present four months worth of extensive documentation of unsafe care compiled by nurses from every unit throughout the facility to the West Contra Costa Healthcare District Board that is meeting that evening. The district board had charged hospital management to organize a joint task force with CNA and resolve the patient care issues at its last meeting on March 23.

Direct-care nurses have filed 220 separate incidents of unsafe care since the beginning of the year, which have been largely disregarded by hospital management. Instead, Hospital management has increased its discipline and investigation of many of the nurses.

The issue of most concern to the nurses is the daily violations of the safe RN-to-patient ratio law, which occurs on every nursing unit throughout all shifts.  One unit that is of particular concern is the medical surgical unit where all correctional patients are cared for, and where RNs are currently assigned up to eight patients. The law states that no RN should be responsible for more than five patients in medical surgical units.

  • What: RN informational picket to protest unsafe patient care
  • When: Wednesday, April 27, 2:30 p.m.—4:00 p.m.
  • Where: Doctors Medical Center, 200 Vale Rd., San Pablo     

 “The RNs at Doctors Medical Center have alerted hospital administrators and the governing board time and time again to the worsening conditions, and our concerns continue to fall on deaf ears,” said Tami Roncskevitz, a RN who has worked at the facility for most of her professional career. “Management turnover is constant and accountability is virtually non existent. Rather than address the concerns we raise, these transient managers, many brought in from out of state, have focused their efforts on silencing bedside nurses through harassment and retaliation.  

We feel it is our duty and obligation to warn the public that care at our facility is inadequate and unsafe.  The medical center has chosen to ignore state mandated nurse-to-patient ratios, and staffing shortages have reached crisis levels. Ancillary staff are being cut and RNs are now expected to do more and more with less help and resources. Patients are facing neglect and harm daily, and our nursing licenses are in constant jeopardy. The situation is intolerable.”