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Press Release: Nurses to Picket 21 Kaiser Permanente Hospitals Today--
Short Staffing, Especially in ER, Mental Healthcare, Prompts Protest

From California Nurses' Association
Wednesday December 19, 2012 - 08:20:00 AM

Citing inadequate nurse staffing in emergency care, mental health services and other hospital areas, registered nurses and nurse practitioners will picket 21 Kaiser Permanente hospitals from Santa Rosa to Fresno today.  

Picketing at all 21 hospitals will be held from 2 to 6 p.m.  

The RNs and NPs, who are members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, say short staffing has become a chronic problem in Kaiser facilities. 

In addition, RNs charge, Kaiser is too often sending patients home from the hospital prematurely and expecting family members to care for patients who should still be in the hospital.  

Among the problems cited by the RNs are: 

  • Holding patients for up to 23 hours in emergency “observation” units before being appropriately admitted for inpatient care.
  • Persistent understaffing for mental health services which leads to failure to provide timely and appropriate mental healthcare for patients.
  • Short staffing in numerous other departments across Kaiser hospitals including labor and delivery and general medical units.
  • Early discharge of patients who should still be receiving in-patient hospital care.
  • Staffing practices that rely on an overreliance on temporary and travel RNs rather than with permanently scheduled RNs who are committed to their local communities.
Kaiser should admit all patients who need care on a timely basis, and stop the practice of inappropriate early discharges, rather than make decisions based on arbitrary budget goals, say the RNs.  

Long waits for mental healthcare, especially follow up appointments, are especially troubling in the wake of the horrific school shooting last Friday in Connecticut, nurses say. 

Patients often experience lengthy delays in obtaining services, an overreliance on “group therapies,” and frustrating obstacles that push many patients to forgo care or seek treatment elsewhere at their own cost, say the RNs. 

“It breaks my heart to see patients having to wait too long to receive care, or are not able to access care because of the high co-payments that Kaiser is charging them,” said Lauri Hoagland, Nurse Practitioner. “Many of my patients have told me they cut the pills they are prescribed to them in half to make them last longer. We are here today to stand up for our patients.” 

CNA is inviting any patient or family who feels they were wrongly denied care by Kaiser Permanente to e-mail CNA at: 

Picketing will occur today from 2 to 6 p.m. at the following locations: 

Sacramento Area 

Roseville Medical Center, 1600 Eureka Rd. 

Sacramento Medical Center, 2025 Morse Ave. 

South Sacramento Medical Center, 6600 Bruceville Rd.  

East Bay 

Antioch Medical Center, 4501 Sand Creek Rd. 

Fremont Medical Center, 39400 Paseo Padre Parkway 

Hayward Medical Center, 27400 Hesperian Blvd. 

Oakland Medical Center, 280 W MacArthur Blvd. 

Richmond Medical Center, 901 Nevin Ave. 

Walnut Creek Medical Center, 1425 South Main St.  

San Francisco/Peninsula 

San Francisco Medical Center, 2425 Geary Blvd.  

South San Francisco Medical Center, 1200 El Camino Real  

Redwood City Medical Center, 1150 Veterans Blvd. 

North Bay/Solano County 

Santa Rosa Medical Center, 401 Bicentennial Way 

San Rafael Medical Center, 99 Montecillo Rd. 

Vacaville Medical Center, 1 Quality Dr. 

Vallejo Medical Center, 975 Sereno Dr. 

South Bay 

San Jose Medical Center, 250 Hospital Parkway 

Santa Clara Medical Center, 700 Lawrence Expressway 

Central Valley 

Fresno Medical Center, 7300 North Fresno St. 

Manteca Medical Center, 1777 W Yosemite Ave. 

Modesto Medical Center, 4601 Dale Rd.