Nurses, Health Care Workers Picket Over Staffing Levels - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Nurses, Health Care Workers Picket Over Staffing Levels

Posted: Updated:

Funding health care has becoming a national issue with the implementation of President Obama's health care plan; but the timing is a coincidence.

Tuesday, dozens of nurses and health care workers picked up their signs and bullhorns and took their argument to the streets outside Deaconess Hospital in Spokane and Valley Hospital in Spokane Valley: "put patient care first and restore safe staffing levels."

Registered Nurse and Service Employees International Union member Angela Crigger was among them. She told KHQ the hospital ratio used to be one nurse to four or five patients, but now it's one to six. While that may not sound like a huge change, she says the effect is compounded because aides and support staff have been cut on top of that.

"Now some days we don't have an aid, we don't have secretaries to answer the phone, sometimes there are two nurses on the entire floor," Crigger explained.

She went to Olympia to testify before the Health Care and Wellness committee a few months ago and also says hospital officials are violating Washington law (RCW 70.41.420) by not going through the safe-staffing committee when making ratio adjustments.

Also at Tuesday's picket was Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart. He told KHQ he recently met with a few doctors when one told him, "I hate sending my patients to Valley Hospital because of all the cuts they've had."

"That's what you have when you have a for-profit system, you continually cut back in order to make profits, but patients suffer when that happens, when we cut nurses on the front lines," Stuckart added.

Hospital administrators provided this written statement in response to the picketing:

"Deaconess Hospital is operating as usual today and our top priority is the care and safety of our patients, employees and visitors. All inpatient, outpatient and emergency services are available and all surgeries and diagnostic procedures are continuing as scheduled."

The two sides are scheduled to come together again tomorrow for collective bargaining.

 

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: Flash flooding & mudslides trap people in Okanogan County

    PHOTOS: Flash flooding & mudslides trap people in Okanogan County

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:12:14 GMT
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash.- Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers tells KHQ that as of 5:00pm Friday evening, Highway 20 is back open and no homes are threaten after numerous mudslides washed out roads and stranded drivers Thursday night and Friday morning. >>
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash.- Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers tells KHQ that as of 5:00pm Friday evening, Highway 20 is back open and no homes are threaten after numerous mudslides washed out roads and stranded drivers Thursday night and Friday morning. >>
  • PHOTOS: CASH REWARD offered for information leading to the arrest of these FUGITIVES

    PHOTOS: CASH REWARD offered for information leading to the arrest of these FUGITIVES

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:41 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:41:09 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the fugitives listed on their website as of August 21, 2014. If you recognize any of these fugitives, you are asked call 1-800-222 TIPS.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the fugitives listed on their website as of August 21, 2014. If you recognize any of these fugitives, you are asked call 1-800-222 TIPS.>>
  • Dog recovering from gun shots looks for loving home

    Dog recovering from gun shots looks for loving home

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:00:29 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just for a second, forget everything you think you know about Pit Bulls. Forget that you think they are vicious or that you've heard they attack children. Approaching this story with an open mind might just change your opinion of what can actually be a very sweet, people-loving breed. A very special pit bull is lucky to be alive after enduring two gun shot wounds and abuse that left her blind in one eye.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just for a second, forget everything you think you know about Pit Bulls. Forget that you think they are vicious or that you've heard they attack children. Approaching this story with an open mind might just change your opinion of what can actually be a very sweet, people-loving breed. A very special pit bull is lucky to be alive after enduring two gun shot wounds and abuse that left her blind in one eye.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane County Sheriff's Office gets new helicopters thanks to donation

    Spokane County Sheriff's Office gets new helicopters thanks to donation

    Saturday, August 23 2014 2:35 AM EDT2014-08-23 06:35:27 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.- In mid-August the Spokane County Sheriff's office announced they're getting new helicopters. The new helicopters will replace the aging Air One chopper that the Sheriff's office uses right now. On Friday we got a first hand look at one of the two helicopters, which were donated by the U.S. Army and cost taxpayers nothing.>>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.- In mid-August the Spokane County Sheriff's office announced they're getting new helicopters. The new helicopters will replace the aging Air One chopper that the Sheriff's office uses right now. On Friday we got a first hand look at one of the two helicopters, which were donated by the U.S. Army and cost taxpayers nothing.>>
  • Gleason Fest 2014 set for Saturday, August 23rd

    Gleason Fest 2014 set for Saturday, August 23rd

    Saturday, August 23 2014 1:57 AM EDT2014-08-23 05:57:35 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- You've been watching the ALS ice bucket challenges all week, but on Saturday, August 23rd, the mother of all ALS events is set to take place: Gleason Fest 2014. Named for Spokane native and former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason, the event will be held in downtown Spokane at Division and Main.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- You've been watching the ALS ice bucket challenges all week, but on Saturday, August 23rd, the mother of all ALS events is set to take place: Gleason Fest 2014. Named for Spokane native and former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason, the event will be held in downtown Spokane at Division and Main.>>