WESTWOOD—Nurses affiliated with the California Nurses Association, which represents more than 18,000 nurses at the University of California, are calling upon the University of California – Los Angeles to address unsafe patient practices within their facilities.
“We have tried to warn UCLA about the existing patient safety issues with shared rooms,” said Mary Gay Dacquel, RN, in a news release from the California Nurses Association on February 27. “UCLA has ignored our recommendations and refused to tell us their plan after the [California Department of Public Health] waiver expires.”
According to CNA, issues have been going on for months and they are deeply concerned about “the patient care conditions and the lack of patient privacy and dignity due to the ongoing use of shared rooms and hallway beds.”
“Putting two patients into a room meant for one makes our incredibly tough and demanding job even more stressful,” said RN and CNA Nurse Representative Thuy Nguyen. “Not only do we have to navigate twice the number of visitors and equipment in a small room meant for just one patient, the cramped space also means patients lose their privacy and potentially expose each other to Covid-19. This should only be a practice when absolutely necessary, not a band-aid for deeper failures by management to plan for inevitable surges in patients.”
The group of unionized nurses plans on holding a demonstration in front of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on Wednesday, March 1. This follows another demonstration that will be held by RNs at the University of San Francisco concerned over the same issues. They plan on organizing on Tuesday, February 28, between 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. at UCSF Parnassus Medical Center, 505 Parnassus Avenue in San Francisco.
Studies have shown when nurses are assigned too many patients to safely care for at once, the patients are at an increased risk for preventable medical errors, avoidable complications, increased length of stay, readmissions, and even death. Studies have shown that assigning nurses too many patients to safely care for at once also leads to ongoing moral distress and job dissatisfaction.
According to the U.S. News, UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles is ranked #5 on the Best Hospitals Honor Roll. It is nationally ranked in 14 adult and 7 pediatric specialties and rated high performing in 17 adult procedures and conditions. It is a general medical and surgical facility that works to instruct upcoming medical professionals. The evaluation of UCLA Medical Center also includes data from Mattel Children’s Hospital.
Also ranked the #2 hospital in California & Los Angeles metro area and nationally ranked in the top 5 in Cancer, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics and Pulmonology & Lung Surgery, UCLA Medical Center excels at caring for the sickest, most medically complex patients in these specialties and more. It is rated High Performing in nearly all procedures and conditions.