Pinoy nurses demand lift teams to prevent injuries

SAN FRANCISCO – Registered nurses demanded help and safety from all the medical centers within the University of California medical system.

The California Nurses Association (CNA), which is a union comprised of many Filipino nurses, staged a rally in front of the UCSF Medical Center.

They say the hospitals violated the Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act when they eliminated lift teams – people hired to help nurses lift and transfer patients.

“Unfortunately many of my colleagues have had disabling back injuries, shoulder injuries and other injuries,” said Erin Carrera, RN, Chief Nurse Representative for CAN UCSF. “We have many that are currently out on medical issues. We have others that are working in pain and we have some that left the profession all together.”

According to the nurses, UCSF is the only UC medical center without a dedicated and trained staff on hand to safely move and transfer patients.

“They took the lift team out in March 2013 as part of a large layoff situation where they eliminated 300 full-time employees and cut many of our ancillary staff and all of those duties didn’t go away they just fell on to nursing staff, patient care assistants, respiratory therapists, other staff,” said Carrera.

In a response to the rally UCSF emailed the following statement to Balitang America:

“UCSF Health complies with all applicable laws, including the Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act, which requires that hospitals provide necessary safe patient handling resources. As the issue is currently in arbitration with the California Nurses Association (CNA), we have no further comment.”

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