Press Release

OC nurses to hold informational picket for patient safety at West Anaheim Medical Center

Group of five nurses inside hospital wearing protective gowns

RNs to protest chronic short staffing and its impact on safe patient care

Registered nurses at Prime Healthcare’s West Anaheim Medical Center (WAMC) will hold an informational picket on Monday, Feb. 14 to protest chronic short staffing and its impact on safe patient care, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) today.

Nurses say that the hospital should cancel elective surgeries because those beds and nurses are needed for other emergent patients. RNs in all medical departments are short-staffed, putting patient safety in jeopardy.

“Nurses are under incredible pressure to care for patients beyond the state’s mandated safe staffing ratios due to the staffing crisis in our hospital,” said John Olarte, RN at WAMC. “The employer should be making beds available by canceling elective surgeries for the foreseeable future. Save those beds for the patients who most need them and at the same time give the RNs a chance to truly care for these patients by not forcing nurses to take patients that don’t need to be in the hospital right now. The public needs to know that the hospital is not doing everything they can to help the nurses care for patients.”

  • Who: Registered nurses at West Anaheim Medical Center
  • What: Informational Picket
  • When: Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Where: 3033 W. Orange Ave, Anaheim, CA (on sidewalk in front of Emergency Room parking lot of West Anaheim Medical Center on Beach Blvd).

“There is a staffing crisis because RNs are leaving,” said Sofia Rivera, RN in the emergency department at WAMC, “To attract and retain quality nurses — just staff the floors so the RNs do not have to pick up multiple extra shifts due to the revolving door of RNs in this hospital.”

Nurses say they want a strong contract so they can recruit and retain RNs and they want to establish a health and safety committee to ensure they have a voice on issues of nurse safety and patient care. They have been in contract negotiations since May 2021. Their contract expired in June 2021.

“We are getting slaughtered in the ER,” said Rasha Tran, RN. “Ambulances are just leaving their patients in the ER instead of waiting for an available bed because they are waiting too long. I don’t even know how we can sustain this demand to care for so many patients. It means less care for each patient. Continuing elective surgeries means that a regular bed is not available for a patient in the ER who is now is being held for hours or days before they are admitted. Even before this most recent Covid surge, nurses have been picking up extra 12-hour shifts to help our coworkers, often without a break for meals or rest periods.”

CNA represents 235 nurses at West Anaheim Medical Center.

The 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 more than 175,000 RNs nationwide.