Among the concerns are long shifts that present safety issues for patients.
BUFFALO, NY – Nurses at the Buffalo VA Medical Center picketed Tuesday morning to protest working conditions at the hospital.
National Nurses United (NNU) says they are fighting for safe staffing and patient care.
“We have seen a downward spiral of nurses leaving, staffing getting worse and more nurses leaving,” nurse practitioner Mary Brady, an NNU leader, said in a news release. “That’s why we need management to accept greater flexibility in the schedule of nursing staff. When management abandons nurses, it also abandons patients.
Nurses on the picket line say rotating schedules force them to work 20-hour shifts, which impacts the level of care they provide to their patients.
“One of the problems we see is that we can bring nurses here, but they don’t stay because of rotating shifts. If your body won’t let you work nights because you have high blood pressure , diabetes, anything like that, and you have to turn, it upsets your internal biological clock. We have nurses who want to work consecutive nights, or consecutive evenings, or consecutive days and they say no, you have to turn and it causes problems,” Kimberly Wallace, a protesting nurse on Tuesday, said.
The union says management has not addressed the issue at this time.
NNU represents approximately 380 registered nurses at Buffalo VAMC.
2 On Your Side has contacted the medical center for a response and will post an update when they respond.