PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A nation worker shortage has impacted our health care workers tremendously.
Not only are there not enough nurses, but frontline workers say working conditions are leaving them mentally and physically exhausted.READ MORE: Can Kids Be Harmed By Wearing Masks To Protect Against COVID?
The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association is heading up legislation in hopes to bring in and retain more nurses, who are the biggest licensed working for in the state.
“This so-called nurse shortage, this exists because of the poor staffing levels that we have,” said Noah Logan, a government relations specialist. “If we’re able to fix that, then it will bring nurses to Pennsylvania. Nurses want to work but the just can’t in these conditions.”
The conditions he’s talking about are nurses being asked to take care of too many patients at once.
“For example, med surge nurses, which is your typical run-of-the-mill hospital floor, it would be one nurse for every four patients,” Logan said. “We believe and our nurses believe that’s a safe number. If you’re in the ICU, it should be one nurse to every two patients.”READ MORE: Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership Moves 60th Anniversary Light Up Night Celebration To Saturday
Betsy Snook is the CEO of the PSNA and says the impact is harder for the families who feel they must step in to help.
“What we’re hearing is family members going to the hospital and sitting with them so they can keep an eye on their loved one. That’s just not right,” Snook said.
Snook said nurses are asking to change positions or leaving the field daily. That is why she is hoping to get some help from the state to improve the system.
“It’s one thing to call us heroes,” Snook said. “But the heroes are tired, and the heroes need some help right now.”MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Reports 574 New Cases, 2 Additional Deaths
Locally, UPMC said it has been impacted and is in the middle of working on campaigns to bring in more nurses.