ER Nurse, Northridge Hospital Medical Center
“I’m an ER Nurse at Dignity’s Northridge Hospital Medical Center. Something is very wrong at NHMC, and at all three of the Dignity Hospitals where Nurses are picketing. The problem is simple: Our hospitals don’t have enough Nurses on staff, which puts patients in danger. The solution is also simple: Dignity needs to put enough RNs on duty so that we can care for our patients
NHMC has the only Comprehensive Stroke Center in the Valley. Our leadership likes to make a big deal out of that. And it is a big deal. If you have a stroke, there is a good chance you’re going to come here. You’re going to come straight to the ER, because a stroke is an emergency. For a stroke victim, every second counts. “Time is brain” they say—and after a stroke, patients lose more brain function in every minute that goes by without intervention.
Our vER is chronically understaffed. Not occasionally, it happens every day. We are short multiple Nurses at every shift. In fact, I can’t remember ever working a shift where we had enough Nurses on duty. Stoke victims that come here are not seen as promptly as they might be, if we had enough Nurses. I have no doubt that there are people out there with unnecessary brain impairment because we didn’t have the resources here to reach them fast enough. That is not something Dignity would want people to think about, but it’s the truth.
My mom asks me “why do you work at that place, where things are so bad, where you’re so stressed out?” I do it because it’s the right thing to do, because I want this place to be better. We all want Dignity to make this place better.