Antelope Valley nurses to hold rally for patient safety
Antelope Valley Medical Center RNs to protest unsafe staffing, failure to meet California’s mandatory minimum RN-to-patient ratios, and retaliation against nurses
Registered nurses at Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster, Calif., will hold a rally on Thursday, Jan. 4 at 8 a.m. to highlight their patient safety concerns, including chronic short-staffing, management’s failure to meet California’s mandatory minimum RN-to-patient ratios, and retaliation against RNs advocating for safe patient care, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) today.
For the past year, as staffing conditions at Antelope Valley Medical Center have worsened, nurses have called for the hospital to take action by recruiting staff for extra shifts and recruiting and retaining skilled nurses to care for patients. However, hospital management has failed to adequately respond and retaliated against nurses who demand safe staffing, threatening to fire them for speaking out. Nurses have filed documentation known as assignment despite objection forms (ADOs) nearly every day since October, reporting unsafe staffing levels.
Chronic understaffing of units, such as the progressive care unit (PCU) — a unit that takes care of severely ill patients (just short of needing the ICU) — has resulted in staffing levels failing to meet the state’s mandatory minimum RN-to-patient ratios. CNA has filed two complaints with the California Department of Public Health due to this failure.
“The conditions here are dire,” said Mark Mosesian, RN in the ER. “There are nights when we only have six RNs in the ER and more than 100 patients seeking care. With the floors so understaffed, we are forced to hold patients in the hallways or make them wait hours for care. This is unacceptable. It’s not safe for patients or staff.”
“Rather than invest in nurses and ensure safe staffing, hospital management has threatened and intimidated nursing into taking unsafe assignments that exceed state mandated ratios,” said Cindy Gillison, RN and PCU RN educator. “Management should not be retaliating against advocates who speak out against this unsafe practice. The hospital has suspended one nurse and is threatening to fire five nurses who stood up for patients by demanding safe staffing. This would put our community at even greater risk.”
- Who: RNs at Antelope Valley Hospital
- What: Rally for safe staffing
- When: Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024 at 8 a.m.
- Where: Antelope Valley Medical Center, 1600 W Ave. J, Lancaster CA 93534, on the sidewalk in front of the hospital
“When we go out of ratio, patients suffer,” said Gillison. “Our nurses are the first line of defense at Antelope Valley. We are the resource our patients need. Our community needs resources — our community needs our nurses. When will AVMC take action for patients?”
CNA represents nearly 900 registered nurses at Antelope Valley Medical Center.
California Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the nation with 100,000 members in more than 200 facilities throughout California and nearly 225,000 RNs nationwide.