PRESS RELEASE — RNs to Burbank City Council: “St. Joseph’s drastic cuts to staffing levels put patients & hospital employees at risk!”

Check out the news coverage we got on our City Council action in the Los Angeles Times’ Burbank Leader:

July 17, 2018

Terry Carter
(805) 312-0024

Burbank, CA—Nurses spoke up at tonight’s City Council meeting to sound the alarm on St. Joseph Medical Center’s unsafe staffing levels. Recently—and suddenly—hospital management introduced staff reductions, which they implemented at the beginning of the month. Nurses already report added delays in attending to basic patient needs, such as toileting, medications and water.

“Even before these reductions, we alerted hospital managers that unsafe staffing levels make it difficult to provide safe, quality patient care,” said Joyce Powell, RN. “In the weeks since these changes were implemented, RNs report distressing problems. I heard that one floor had an extremely upset patient who couldn’t even get a glass of water after surgery. When you’ve had to go without any water prior to your surgery, you really want your glass of water after surgery. This is just so unnecessary.”

Healthcare in this country is changing rapidly. The Registered Nurses of SEIU Local 121RN use their collective voice to balance out the decisions coming out of boardrooms and shareholder meetings which often cut corners to increase profits—and worsen patient care. That’s why RNs decided to make sure Councilmembers tonight know about these changes at this nearby hospital that serves a good portion of Burbank residents. RNs say these cuts degrade patient care and put patients at risk of serious injury and even death at St. Joseph’s.

“I’ve been a Nurse for eight years and I’m proud of the work I do taking care of the Burbank community. It saddens me to see patient satisfaction at St. Joseph’s decreasing instead of increasing,” said Alvin Nadal, RN. “What am I supposed to say to my patients who have soiled themselves because we couldn’t help them in time with a bed pan? What am I supposed to tell the patient who needs pain medication and we couldn’t get it to them on time? Put simply: management is placing profits before patient care and safety. These new staff reductions make it worse. Now our floors could have as many as 19 patients with only one Nurse Aide. I don’t even want to think about flu season just around the corner. Our patients will be miserable.”

Nurses ask for an immediate reversal of the staffing cuts and demand that the hospital negotiate over the impact of any cuts. In these negotiations, RNs will push for staffing levels that ensure safe care. RNs have requested a meeting with management on tomorrow or Thursday.


Service Employees International Union, Local 121RN represents nearly 9,000 registered nurses and other healthcare professionals at 27 hospitals and facilities in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. This member-led organization is committed to supporting optimum working conditions that allow nurses to provide quality patient care and safety.

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