On January 24 the Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino got together at the Covington Chambers and hosted their regular meeting at 10 a.m. where multiple individuals came forward to discuss the topic of the hospital is understaffed.
During this procession of the gathering of the Board of Supervisors in San Bernardino, one topic raised a lot of attention during the meeting.
The issue that was brought up the most was how the local hospitals were facing multiple problems concerning staffing and being unable to run a safe hospital.
This issue regarding staffing in the County’s hospitals coincides with patient care because there has to be sufficient staffing which includes attending physicians, specialists, nurses, nurse assistants, and many other roles.
Jeremy, a 6-month new graduate with Arrowhead Medical Center went on to describe the issues regarding the hospitals.
“As of recently I have observed a decline in patient care and I attribute three main factors to this decline in patient care,” Jeremy said. “These three factors are short staffing, little retention of experienced staff, and more travel nurses rather than regular staff.”
Another person came up to the podium to speak about the same issue. Beth, a registered nurse at the General Medical Center gave her perspective on what is happening with the hospital.
“In the last ten years I have seen a lot but unfortunately I have never seen the problems that we are dealing with today,” Beth said. “I am here to talk about safe staffing and why at Arrowhead we are not adequately staffed.”
Beth goes on to talk about the staffing ratio which is the ratio of patients to nurses in a hospital and mentions that the quality of care goes down when there are more patients than nurses. This is a concerning issue because staff members have expressed that it is difficult to provide proper care when they are understaffed.
“I cannot effectively take care of more patients with less resources and be expected to deliver the same amount of quality care, time, and attention to life threatening matters. Matters that make the difference between you and your loved ones living or dying,” Beth said.
Moreover, nurses do not just go through their extreme 12-hour shifts, they experience various situations that can escalate to the passing away of a patient, and having the hospital understaffed can be very dangerous for both the patients and the nurses.
Lesley, a registered nurse at the burn unit who has been working for the county for 20 years at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center came forward in front of the board of supervisors to give her experience working at the hospital.
Leslie described how many positions were available at the hospital and it came up that there were 384 registered nurse vacancies in September for a hospital that manages great amounts of patients.
“Our charge nurses that are there to assist and advise us are being pulled from their positions to be assigned their own patients because we do not have the nurses we need,” Leslie said. “Our break relief nurses are there to relieve us and take our patients so we can have a meal break, and a resource to us when we need assistance, are also being pulled from their assigned positions and assigned their own patients because we do not have nurses to fully staff our hospital.”
Leslie went on to talk about how there are not enough nurses and nurse assistants to fully operate the hospital which can be dangerous for the patients because we need enough staff to ensure their safety of the patients.
During the meeting of the Board of Supervisors in San Bernardino County, many people who work in the health industry, more specifically in the hospital, came out to talk about the issue regarding understaffing.
“The County needs to look at significant changes to compete for nurses,” said Leslie.
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