Thousand Oaks healthcare workers protest against staffing shortages and low wages – Orange County Register

Angelina Valdivia is no stranger to understaffing.

As food and nutrition specialists at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, Valdivia and her colleagues say they are always catching up.

“Patients are hungry and waiting for food, so nurses call,” she said. “All we can do is do our best…but that’s never enough.”

Some Los Robles employees say they are constantly understaffed and plan to picket the hospital on Wednesday, March 1, to deliver a message. They are one of his nearly 600 workers at the center. SEIU-UHW.

They include emergency room technicians, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, food service workers, nutritionists, and drivers. Their contract expires on March 31st.

HCAHealthcareOwns and operates a hospital.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Los Robles Health System said its staffing was “safe, adequate, and in line with other regional hospitals.” He added that the hospital values ​​all its employees and provides a safe environment for patients, caregivers and visitors.

Wednesday’s protest rally in january West Hills Hospital & Medical Center, another HCA-run facility, also claims medical workers are understaffed.

a Recent SEIU Reports analyzed federal data showing chronic staffing shortages in HCA hospitals and their impact on patient care.

“Analysis of Medicare Cost Report data shows that HCAs are staffing hospitals at very low levels, typically about 30% below the national average,” the report said. “This trend of HCA hospital understaffing reflects a deliberate corporate strategy long before the COVID pandemic.”

A January 2022 survey of more than 1,500 frontline nurses and healthcare workers at HCA hospitals found that nearly 80% of staff are understaffed, putting patient care at risk. According to the report, they have witnessed a

SEIU-UHW employees are calling for more staff and a $25 hourly minimum wage for health care statewide.

Xochitl Gonzalez, a patent therapeutics technician who has worked for Los Robles for seven years, said he still makes $25 an hour.

Many of the patients Gonzales helps have broken bones or other disabilities. She assists them in bathing and getting them safely in and out of the bathroom, among other duties.

“Sometimes one person has to handle 30 patients,” said the 55-year-old Thousand Oaks resident. “This would mean that we would not be able to reach everyone, so the wait time would be longer.”

Ideally, it should handle no more than 10 patients at a time, Gonzalez said.

“If you have more than that, you will not be able to provide quality care to anyone,” she said. “We pride ourselves on providing the best possible care for our patients,” she said.

Los Robles Health System said in a statement that it has a strong culture of respect and cooperation for its employees.

“Union negotiations are part of our business cycle, which takes place every three years,” the statement said. “During each renewal period, our goal remains the same: ensuring fair contracts that continue to support the safety of our colleagues, excellence in care and a culture of compassion.” Thousand Oaks healthcare workers protest against staffing shortages and low wages – Orange County Register

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