Washington healthcare workers plead with state lawmakers for staffing help

Published by BECKER'S HOSPITAL REVIEW on 12/15/21 (Source)

Healthcare workers have launched a campaign urging Washington state lawmakers to pass legislation to address what they describe as a statewide staffing crisis.

New daily COVID-19 hospitalization rates in Washington have decreased 7 percent over the last two weeks, according to HHS data tracked by The New York Times.

However, healthcare workers — represented by SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, the Washington State Nurses Association and UFCW 21 — said staffing problems persist, and new staffing standards are needed to protect workers from "dangerously high patient loads" as people seek care for all types of issues. Members participating in the "WA Safe + Healthy" campaign contend that new staffing standards will lead to better safety for workers, better patient care and better staffing.

"Washington has faced a shortage of healthcare workers for years, but the pandemic put longstanding staffing problems into a pressure cooker," their campaign website states. "Now we're at a crisis point. Healthcare workers have asked hospital executives for help, but they were ignored. Now, they're asking state lawmakers to pass safe staffing standards that will let them do their jobs safely and give patients the care they deserve."