PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Local health care workers gathered downtown Wednesday to demand their employers make changes. Some say they are stretched so thin that getting up and coming to work every day can often feel like a daunting task.

Workers held a candlelight vigil Wednesday evening on the Rachel Carson Bridge. The candles represented the thousands of workers who have walked off the job due to COVID working conditions throughout the pandemic.

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(Photo: KDKA)

A number of workers from both Allegheny Health Network and UPMC talked about the toll the nationwide nursing shortage and other working conditions are taking on them.

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They gathered to demand a seat at the table when it comes to retainment and locked in staffing ratios, increased competitive wages and more incentives to stay and opportunity for growth.

Some workers say with the way things are right now. it’s also impacting the care they can provide.

“It’s definitely taken a toll and I know myself and a lot of my coworkers are struggling to come into work every day, dealing with our own family issues, getting sick, and then having to come into work every day,” said AHN respiratory therapist Erin Williams.

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Workers are hoping to capture the attention of hospitals and local leaders. KDKA saw at least one local leader, Democratic Sen. Lindsey Williams.