Staffing, bed shortage at St. Joseph’s Hospital turns into a nightmare
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – Some employees at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson have said staff and bed shortages, along with a record spike in COVID-19 cases, are turning into a nightmare.
The numbers can become noise, but it adds to a terrible scenario that frontline workers face every day.
“For a long time it was a great place to work. We had staff, everyone had a good attitude, we all worked as a team, ”said an employee at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Several employees, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being fired, told KOLD that was no longer the case.
“Nurses are quitting en masse. 14 in the emergency room and at least five in neuro, ”said one employee. “When there are three nurses for a level 1 trauma center, it’s going to be difficult”
Employees said that when a nurse leaves, she is not replaced.
“You just feel defeated. Every day, several people call because they are exhausted, ”said a nurse. “Or they’re calling because they’ve done an extra shift.”
KOLD contacted the Carondelet Health Network, which oversees St. Joseph’s. In a statement, the company confirmed there was a shortage of staff.
“Every protocol in our COVID response has been built around the safety of our patients and staff and in accordance with CDC guidelines,” the company said in a statement sent to KOLD. “We have rigorous infection prevention protocols in place and they are working. “
“It’s not like we’re full. There are a lot of empty beds. We don’t have the staff to take care of these patients. That’s why they wait in the hallways for days, ”said a nurse.
KOLD obtained video from inside the hospital that shows what nurses are sometimes forced to deal with.
“Patients are naked in the hallway without any cover-up,” said an employee. “Throwing up all over the place, I mean it’s really horrible to walk through the emergency room and see it happen. I would 100% agree, it totally seems like it’s third world right now.
Employees who agreed to speak with KOLD said they were doing their best to care for the patients, but could only help a limited number of people at a time.
“I can give you an example of the gentleman who urinated in his bed because when he asked for a urinal, the staff told him he was too busy and he just wanted to pee in his bed,” he said. declared the employee.
Employees said they contacted management, but said they had been sidelined. Or as we were told, taken advantage of.
“We do this job to help people,” the employee said. “We come into this profession because it’s our calling, but we don’t have the tools or the ability to help people. It is a frightening situation.
Carondelet said the hospital is still open for the community.
“We are grateful to our team members for their unwavering commitment to be there to care for patients in need, and our hospitals remain ready to care for our community,” the company said in an email.
A union of nurses and staff from St. Joseph’s will participate in the “National Day of Action” Thursday morning. They are hoping that something will be done about this staff shortage.
The rally begins at 8:15 am in St. Joseph’s.
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