Press Release

Nurses to Hold Pickets at Tenet Hospitals Throughout California

Nurses picketing

RNs Urge Management to Invest in RN Staff and Patient Care

Registered nurses at eight Tenet hospitals throughout California will hold informational pickets May 28, urging management to invest in nursing staff.  This will improve the recruitment and retention of experienced RNs, and ensure optimal patient care, say nurses.

The RNs plan pickets at facilities in Modesto, San Ramon, Turlock, Los Alamitos, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Templeton, and San Luis Obispo. On the same date, May 28, nurses also will hold pickets at Tenet hospitals in Arizona and Florida and a rally in Texas.

“We’re holding informational pickets because we are committed to advocating for our patients,” said Laura Bruce, an RN who works in the ICU at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. “We know that when the hospital invests in the nursing staff, we can provide our patients with optimal care.”

Research studies shows that when RNs are able to take adequate rest and meal breaks they are more likely not to experience fatigue, which can lead to medical errors, and injuries to both RNs and their patients. According to information supplied by Tenet, the company paid out a total of nearly eight million dollars in penalty pay to RNs from 2016-2018 for more than 140,000 missed meal breaks in the eight California hospitals holding the pickets. In 2018 nurses at these hospitals reported more than 57,000 missed breaks, a twenty eight percent increase over 2016.  

“To give the best care to our patients it is very important for nurses to get rest and meal breaks,” said Erika Peterson, an RN who works in the ICU at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock. “When the hospital has adequate staffing it is more likely that nurses can take their meal and rest breaks so they can return to work nourished and alert.”

Research also shows that when nurses don’t work overly long hours they are more likely to provide safe patient care. According to data supplied by Tenet, the hospitals are increasingly utilizing “on call” nurses for the OR and other units for regularly scheduled procedures and non-emergent situations, rather than using “on call,” the way it is supposed to be used, for unexpected, emergent conditions. When a nurse is “on call,” they are required to return to the hospital within 30 minutes, and this includes nurses being called in after they’ve already worked an entire shift, before they’ve had an adequate rest period.

The data provided by Tenet shows that in 2018, nurses worked more than two full weeks of overtime from “on call” work and being called back in, including right after, or within hours of completing a full shift. Since 2016 this practice has increased 48 percent.

In 2018 three Tenet hospitals showed an even greater dependency on “on call” staff.  Nurses at Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree, San Ramon Regional Medical Center in San Ramon, and Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, averaged more than 1000 hours each on call.

“I’ve been a nurse for 40 years and I’m committed to using my long experience to advocate for excellent patient care,” said Janice Ames, an RN in the medical/surgical unit at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo. “We want our patients to know that nurses are working together make sure they get the care they deserve.”

Locations and times:

Modesto: Doctors Medical Center of Modesto, 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
1441 Florida Avenue, Modesto
Contact: Cheli Guzman, 510-457-5117

San Ramon: San Ramon Regional Medical Center, 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.    
6001 Norris Canyon Rd, San Ramon
Contact: Phuong Tran, 408-896-4170.

Turlock: Emanuel Medical Center, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.    
825 Delbon Ave, Turlock
Contact: Cheli Guzman, 510-457-5117

Los Alamitos: Los Alamitos Medical Center, 7 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
3751 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos
Contact: Erik Macatuno, 562-577-4668

Palm Springs: Desert Regional Medical Center, 5:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m.
1150 North Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
Contact: Steve Matthews, 747-215-4243    

Joshua Tree: Hi-Desert Medical Center, 6 a.m-8:30 a.m.
6601 White Feather Rd, Joshua Tree
Contact: Steve Matthews, 747-215-4243    

San Luis Obispo: Sierra Vista Regional Med Center, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
1010 Murray Avenue, San Luis Obispo
Contact: Tom Dunne, 510-219-9615

Templeton: Twin Cities Community Hospital, 11:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m.     
1100 Las Tablas Rd, Templeton
Contact: Tom Dunne, 510-219-9615

California Nurses Association (CNA) represents 3733 registered nurses at the California facilities participating in the pickets on May 28. CNA is affiliated with National Nurses United, the largest and fastest growing union of registered nurses in the United States with 150,000 members. NNU plays a leadership role in safeguarding the health and safety of RNs and their patients and has won landmark legislation in the areas of staffing, safe patient handling, infectious disease and workplace violence prevention.