Nurses Rally For Government To Intervene In Staffing Shortage Crisis

Rich Lamb
October 22, 2019 - 4:32 pm
Nurses press conference

Marla Diamond/WCBS 880


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Nurses say they are short staffed in health care facilities across New York State and they want the government to intervene.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, scores of nurses rallies calling on the state Health Department to establish minimum staffing ratios in hospitals and nursing homes.

Elizia McMeyers, who has worked at Harlem Hospital for 27 years, outlined what they are asking for.

She says they need, “Ratios that are clear and defined, that say, in a critical care area, you have one nurse to possibly two patients, not four or five. In med surge unit, you have one nurse to maybe 6 or 7 patients – not 15 and 20. There's a huge difference there as you can see.”

The nurses say the staffing shortages can literally be a matter of life and death.

The rally drew the support of multiple local lawmakers, including City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Comptroller Scott Stringer, who are supporting any legislative or regulatory remedy that would establish safe staffing ratios to ensure patient safety.