Press Release

RNs at HCA’s Regional Medical Center of San Jose hold action Tuesday: red alert on unsafe staffing

Speaker and nurses in front of Regional Medical Center building
April 2020 shift change action at Regional Medical Center, San Jose

At HCA’s Regional Medical Center of San Jose, RNs will hold a shift change action Tuesday, April 6 to call public attention to a growing concern over inadequate staffing they say leads to dangerous delays in care, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) announced today.

  • What:    Regional Medical Center RNs to protest unsafe staffing
  • When:   Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Where:  Regional Medical Center, 225 N. Jackson Ave., San Jose
                  (Action will be at the corner of Jackson and McKee.)

“Regional RNs will not be silent about short staffing that puts our patients at risk. This is an untenable situation that HCA and Regional management have an obligation to frontline caregivers and this community to repair,” said Mary Jean Dimapasoc, an RN in the observation and Covid unit at Regional.

“For more than a year, we have consistently gone above and beyond what is required to protect our patients—at risk to ourselves, our patients, our co-workers and our families—in the middle of a pandemic, without the resources and support from the hospital we need,” said intensive care unit RN Michelle Lorang.

Among concerns cited by the Regional RNs:

  • Inadequate resource nurses, charge nurses, unit clerks, and nursing assistants, resulting in lack of support to respond to emergencies. This can result in poor patient outcomes, say nurses, and even patient deaths.
  • Lack of staffing for rest and meal breaks, in violation of the hospital’s own policy, in accordance with state law. Without the ability to take breaks, RNs often have to work fatigued, which can cause patient care errors.
  • Harassment of RNs who must work short periods of overtime due to inadequate staffing, because the administration doesn’t want to pay for overtime.
  • Lack of management effort to contact off-duty RNs to assist with short staffing. Charge nurses are forced to contact additional nurses, only to be told by management that whoever is called in must be paid at lower rates than required by the contract.

“HCA and Regional have already put our patients and community at risk with the disgraceful decision to eliminate mother-baby services last spring as the pandemic was surging,” said Martha Marrero, an emergency room RN. “And they continue to fail our nurses and patients by not ensuring we have the staff and resources we need. That puts our patients in jeopardy. This must stop.”

Just last week, RNs at HCA’s other San Jose hospital, Good Samaritan, also sounded the community alarm over poor staffing, especially in the birthing and neonatal intensive care units that care for many of the patients formerly seen at Regional.

HCA can well afford to provide all the staff that is needed, say nurses, and to honor the collective bargaining provision on scheduling, breaks, and overtime. HCA is the wealthiest hospital system in the U.S. Last year alone HCA reported $3.7 billion in profits.