On some nights, Peng He, an RN at Terence Cardinal Cooke Hospital, says only one RN is left to care for patients on the subacute unit. "How can one person cover dozens of bedside calls at once? Every night I worry about my patients."
Peng and 90 of her NYSNA brothers and sisters at TCC are preparing for a 24-hour strike to protest unsafe staffing levels and illegal employer activities. The strike is set to start at 7 a.m. this Friday, August 15.
On the subacute floor, Peng cares for patients just out of intensive care or surgery. Her patients need a lot of care to get better: “Almost everyone has pain,” she says. “We have to make sure they feel comfortable. Often, they want meds immediately.”
Peng says the worst part about short staffing is making sure every patients gets the care they need in a timely manner: “I have to answer call bells, hang up the IV, handle all the notes – everything. Each task takes time.”
TCC patients deserve safe staffing. “I cannot go everywhere at once. We need safe staffing now so that we can keep our patients safe.”