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After months of working to resolve a contract that prioritizes patient care, Harborview Medical Center is still resisting nurses’ calls for solutions to the hospital’s ongoing staffing concerns. Harborview nurses and healthcare workers will be joined by community leaders at an informational picket at the hospital Thursday to call on Harborview to improve staffing.

Currently many nurses and healthcare workers have to double up on patient loads to cover for co-workers to eat or take needed breaks. Patients may find themselves waiting for care from healthcare specialists and social workers who often have to carry two pagers to cover shifts. Nurses and healthcare workers have been proposing solutions since they started bargaining new contract months ago.

Instead, Harborview has brought new cuts to the table and they haven’t fully addressed our staffing and recruitment and retention concerns. Harborview is our region’s only level 1 trauma care hospital and we can’t afford for it to fall behind on community standards.

“This has gone on long enough,” said Susan Tekola, RN. “Harborview’s mission is to provide exemplary patient care, something we strive to do every day. But we’ve been telling Harborview for months that in order to do that we need the right staff at the bedside. It’s time to get this right,” Tekola said. The nurses and healthcare workers will picket before and after shifts and during their breaks.

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