Understaffing and safety concerns are sparking the nursing force at a local hospital to picket.

News 10 abc reported on the planned strike, which may be happening today.   According to the report, nurses at Albany Medical Center (which is now unionized and part of NYSNA- the New York nursing union) are planning to picket starting today over unsafe staffing levels, with over 200 reported vacant positions.

As a nurse, I feel this.  Sure I work in music, but I also work on a high-stress acute unit with generally minimal staffing (not at Albany Med).  It’s not necessarily one facility or another- it just seems to be the way healthcare is going (or really a lot of the workforce for that matter).  Work long hours, do more, and save money.  But when it comes to a job where it’s life and death?  Not ok.

I can’t tell you the amount of times my colleagues and I have been screamed at, hit, or yelled at all while trying to medicate, triage, monitor, and heal.  When the staffing is not safe, it puts patients and staff at major risk.  However, as a nurse, I also don’t know if I could ever put aside my job and strike- because lets face it, my job is to care and heal.  And healthcare issues don’t go away and patients don’t stop coming in during a strike. It’s a really tough spot these nurses are in.

I don’t want to say these issues are just nursing- I know so many people from truck drivers to IT workers that have long exhausting hours and are put in unsafe positions.  I do want to say however a huge thank you to everyone out their busting their butts every single day.  It ain’t easy.