Nurses at Kaiser Permanente rally for patient care

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Dozens of registered nurses rallied outside of Kaiser Permanente, on Monday morning, calling attention to what they call patient care issues.

This was just one of many rallies happening in the state.

Amy Arlund, a registered nurse, has been with Kaiser for seventeen years.

"For years we've been telling Kaiser about the erosion of patient care that we have seen, the loss of resources, the cutbacks in staffing and what we have decided it's time to for us to tell Kaiser no more," Arlund explained.

She added the hospital needs more nurses and nurse practitioners.

"We want our patients to get the highest quality of care that they are paying for," Arlund said.

Arlund mentioned she has seen the changes, saying it has hit the hardest in the clinics.

"Nurse practitioners have slowly been replaced by MAs and PAs and we've lost those positions," she stated, "Nurse practitioners give a more holistic delivery of care to our patients and what we would like is for those positions to go back to nurse practitioners in the clinics".

She went on to say that a lot of clinics do not even have nurses staffed in them, instead, there is an LVN or MAs and PAs.

Over 100 people sign into the picket on Monday morning.

Arlund stressed nurses picketing were off-shift.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California sent a statement, from Debora Catsavas their Senior Vice President of Human Resources, stating that Monday's picket will not have any impact on patient care and services.

"Kaiser Permanente Northern California and the California Nurses Association began bargaining a new contract in mid-July. The current contract is set to expire on Sept. 30. Kaiser Permanente is bargaining in good faith to reach an agreement that supports our non-profit mission to provide high-quality, affordable care and serves the interests of our nurses," the statement read.

It continued to read, "We respect and value our nurses, who are the best in health care and are proud that Kaiser Permanente is a recognized leader in healthcare quality and safety. Our first priority is always the health and safety of our patients and members. Decisions about patient care are made by our physicians, based on what is best for the patient. We comply with state-mandated nurse staffing ratios, and often exceed them"
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