Press Release

UCSF nurses to hold a rally to demand safe staffing and patient protection during ongoing Covid-19 pandemic

Nurses hold signs "Safe Staffing Saves Lives"

Nurses at University of California, San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF) will hold a rally on Tuesday, Nov. 10 to demand safe staffing throughout the health system and to alert the public to their patient safety concerns during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, announced California Nurses Association (CNA) today.

“Since the start of this pandemic, we have been struggling to provide the highest quality of patient care without enough nurses on the floor to the do the work,” said Rebecca Arnold, a registered nurse in a medical surgical unit. “For months we have been out of ratio in our medical-surgical units. On my unit, we take care of patients who have had spinal surgeries and are dealing with intense pain and mobility issues. The doctors want these patients up and moving to get their meals or go to the bathroom, but we struggle to get to them in a timely manner because there are simply not enough nurses. Our patients become frustrated and anxious when they have to wait to get medications or help to get out of bed. We have seen an increase in falls and, unfortunately, medication errors as our caseloads are just too high. I have been at the hospital for 16 years, and I have never seen it like this.”

  • What: UCSF nurses to hold a rally to demand safe staffing and patient protection during ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
  • When: Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020   12 noon
  • Where: UCSF Medical Center Parnassus campus
    505 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143
    Parking is available on site)

Nurses note that during the pandemic, UCSF has instituted a hiring freeze, leaving many positions unfilled and failing to increase staffing when necessary.

“Not only are we lacking nursing staff in our units, we are also working without enough ancillary staff,” said Jamille Cabacungan, a registered nurse who has worked with Covid patients since the start of the pandemic. “Our ancillary staff is critically important, especially when we are so short of nurses. Our patient care assistants help patients with their meals, their hygiene or reposition them so they don’t get pressure sores. Without these assistants, these tasks fall to the nurses and can be delayed. It seems the UC management is making decisions on staffing in accordance with their budgetary goals and failing to take into account the acuity of our patients. This is demoralizing for nurses and dangerous for patients.”

Tuesday’s rally is part of a statewide day of action across the University of California. CNA represents 4,200 nurses at UCSF.