Albany Lawmakers Hear From Members About Care Team Approach

October 14, 2019

CareTeam_fa.jpgThe first step in making change is making your voice heard. 1199ers who work in hospitals and nursing homes in New York City traveled to Albany on July 25 to explain to the NYS Department of Health how the vital care they provide to seniors is being put at risk by inadequate staffing levels.

In two sessions RNs, PCTs, and CNAs testified before officials from the New York State Department of Health Staffing Study Engagement Session, stressing the importance nurse-to-patient ratios and proper staffing across all job titles in providing quality care.

RN Joyce Austin has worked at Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Queens, NY for two decades.

“Without proper staffing at all levels, care is bound to suffer,” she said.

“I started out as a CNA, then I became an LPN and then an RN,” says Austin. “Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of changes in the nursing home. We are now getting the patients who used to be treated in a medical/surgical unit in a hospital. We have patients on ventilators, who are receiving dialysis at the bedside.

We have patients who are much sicker and need more nursing care, but staffing levels have not changed.”

Veronica Murray, a PCA at St. John’s Episcopal in Far Rockaway since 1992, testified how short staffing affects caregivers physically and emotionally. “I feel I do not often have enough time to give patients the personal attention they need and deserve,” said Murray. “Sometimes family members are not around, and they are lonely and anxious. Without enough staff we cannot provide vital emotional support to our patients.”

1199 Magazine | September / October 2019