LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — Nurses with the National Nurses United took to the streets across the country on Tuesday to protest what they’re calling unsafe work practices at HCA hospitals including MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas.
MountainView Hospital is part of HCA Healthcare’s family of hospitals and three of their other facilities saw a protest in Missouri and Florida.
At least 20 people including registered nurses joined a protest lining the sidewalk outside of the hospital.
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The nurses’ complaints include being forced to reuse their N-95 masks several times instead of disposing of them after one use.
They also said staffing has decreased over the last few months when nurses have been needed most.
The hospital told News 3 no nurses have been cut and its COVID-19 safeguards for employees are in line with the CDC.
MountainView released the following statement saying:
“No one takes the health and safety of our workers more seriously than we do, and since day one, our top priority has been to protect them – to keep them safe and keep them employed – so they can best care for our patients. Any suggestion otherwise ignores the extensive work, planning and training we have done to ensure the delivery of high-quality care during this pandemic. Our frontline caregivers have shown unwavering commitment, and our efforts to protect them have included the screening and testing of our colleagues, universal masking, contact tracing and notification, and other safeguards, in line with guidance from the CDC. We’re proud of our response and the significant resources we’ve deployed to help keep our colleagues safe. Meanwhile, this union is attempting to use this pandemic as an opportunity to gain publicity by attacking hospitals across the country.”
However, those protesting disagreed and said the hospital isn’t creating a safe environment for patients.
“Right now, I’ll be honest with you, nurses don’t feel like they’re able to provide very good care for their patients simply because the hospital will not provide the resources and staffing that we need to do our jobs,” said Nicole Koester, a registered nurse at MountainView Hospital.
Koester said the hospital needs to go beyond the CDC guidelines and set an example to help keep all nurses and patients safe during the pandemic.