Staffing, bed shortages at St. Joseph’s Hospital turning into nightmare

TUCSON, Arizona (KOLD News 13) – Some employees at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson said staff and bed shortages, as well as a record increase in COVID-19 cases, were becoming a nightmare.

The numbers can turn into noise, but it adds up to a terrifying scenario that frontline workers face every day.

“It was a really great place to work for a long time. We had staff, we all had good attitudes, we all worked as a team, ”said a staff member at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Several employees who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of being fired told KOLD that this was no longer the case.

“Nurses are resigning in droves. 14 in the emergency room and at least five in neurosurgery, ”said one staff member. “When there are three caregivers for an entire level 1 trauma center, it becomes difficult”

Staff said if a nurse leaves they will not be replaced.

“You just feel defeated. Several people call every day because they are burned out, ”said one nurse. “Or they call because they worked an extra shift.”

KOLD contacted the Carondelet Health Network, which oversees St. Joseph. In a press release, the company confirmed a staff shortage.

“Every protocol in our COVID response has been built around the safety of our patients and employees and in accordance with CDC guidelines,” the company said in a notice sent to KOLD. “We have strict infection prevention protocols and they work.”

“It’s not like we’re full. There are a lot of empty beds. We don’t have the staff to take care of these patients. That’s why they wait in the hallways for days, “said a nurse.

KOLD received a video from the hospital that shows what nurses sometimes have to do with.

“The patients stand naked in the hallway without a cover-up,” said one employee. “Vomiting all over the place, I mean, it’s just horrible to go through the emergency room and see how this happens. It’s just a horrible thing to do.” I would 100% agree that it looks like the developing world at the moment. “

The staff who agreed to speak to KOLD said that they do their best to care for patients but can only help so many people at the same time.

“I can give you an example of the gentleman who urinated in his bed because when he asked for a urinal, the staff told him they were too busy and should just pee in his bed,” the agent said.

Staff said they contacted management but claimed they had been turned away. Or, as we were told, exploited.

“We do this job to help people,” said the employee. “We go into this profession because it is our calling, but we don’t have the tools or the capacity to help people. It’s a frightening situation. “

Carondelet said the hospital was still open to the community.

“We are grateful to our team members for their unwavering dedication to caring for patients in need, and our hospitals remain ready to care for our community,” the company said in an email.

A sister union with employees from St. Joseph will take part in the “National Day of Action” on Thursday morning. They hope that something will be done about this shortage of staff.

The rally begins at 8:15 a.m. at St. Joseph’s.

Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.

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