Nurses and healthcare workers held a two-hour long protest outside Deaconess Medical Center Tuesday afternoon, saying they're fed up with staffing cuts.
The workers say they're concerned about patient care and want something to be done -- to bring back staffing levels at Valley Hospital and Deaconess Medical Center.
"Our staffing levels are getting to the point where it's kind of scary," Central service tech Mary Robinson said.
The workers are part of the Service Employees International Union, made up of nurses, technicians and aides from the two hospitals. Union workers say enough is enough; after years of hospital cuts they staffing levels to be restored. All the picketers have a story about how they've been impacted by the cuts.
Robinson, who works at Deaconess, said her department went from 23 staffers to just 14.
"We want to give the best care but you come to work and you feel rushed and pushed and the threshold of mistakes can go up," Robinson said.
"They are crunching our numbers, giving us more patients, giving away our help," Valley Hospital nurse Angela Crigger said.
Crigger said she isn't able to watch her patients as closely as she'd like.
"We are expected to take our patients to other units, leaving our five other patients on the floor without anybody watching them or monitoring them," she explained.
On Wednesday the union goes back to the bargaining table with hospital administrators. They hope something can be done to get more staff working inside the hospitals helping patients when it matters most.
In response to this story, hospital administrators issued the following statement:
"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."