Press Release

UC San Diego Nurses demand safe staffing to save lives

UC San Diego Nurses

Registered nurses at UCSD will hold a press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 27 to call on the University of California (UC) to staff for safe patient care and stop elective surgeries, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) today. Due to the pandemic, UCSD nurses are caring for many very sick patients, which means they need more nurses to care for them. The state’s safe staffing law is not only about how many patients a nurse is assigned, but also about acuity, how sick a patient is.

“Since the start of this pandemic, nurses have been struggling to provide the highest quality of patient care despite very difficult circumstances,” said ICU RN Shannon Cotton. “The patients are getting sicker and sicker, and the pressure on the bedside nurse can be overwhelming. I work in the dedicated Covid ICU at UCSD, and we are already stretched beyond our limits. We are tired. I don’t know how we could look after more extremely sick patients effectively. I hate to even think about how worse nurse-to-patient ratios would affect our patients’ outcomes in irreparable ways.”

Meanwhile, UCLA and UC Irvine have applied for waivers to violate the state’s safe staffing law. UCSD nurses stand with their RN colleagues at UCLA and UC Irvine and demand that UC rescind its waiver applications. Nurses demand that state authorities to enforce the state’s safe staffing law.

Nurses also decry cuts to staffing made by management in the middle of a pandemic. “It’s not just Covid patients we are concerned about,” said RN Anna Sindelar. “Management has cut support staff in various units who help us perform basic care for patients. Without them, we now have patients who have waited days to get a bath, or had important diagnostic tests delayed because there was not enough staff scheduled to help with transporting patients to our diagnostic units. Meanwhile, we hear of nurses being cancelled and sent home in other units because they aren’t needed there. The University of California is supposed to be the premier research university system in the state, with cutting-edge teaching hospitals. This is just wrong.”

What: UCSD Nurses to hold a press conference to demand appropriate safe staffing
When: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 6:30 a.m.
Where: UCSD Medical Center, Hillcrest campus, Dickinson Street entrance