header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
53°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 19
1967 - Original airing of Star Trek "Arena" Episode: Kirk battles the Gorn commander (Saugus resident Bobby Clark) at Vasquez Rocks [watch]
Kirk vs. Gorn commander


| Friday, Jan 8, 2021
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital ICU nurse Channan Wedemyer tapes a "Save Lives - Safer Staffing Now" placard to her car as participants prepare for a drive-by caravan in front of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital on Friday, 010820. Dan Watson/The Signal

 

About a dozen vehicles with nurses from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital caravanned through Valencia Friday morning to protest increased nurse-to-patients staffing ratios due to the COVID-19 surge, which they say puts patients at risk.

The hospital is among several in California that was granted last month a temporary expedited waiver from the state Department of Public Health to bump up the number of patients nurses in intensive care units can oversee at one time.

Hospital officials said Friday they are hiring staff and are offering competitive salaries and benefits, as well as incentives to current clinical employees to work extra shifts. In response to the demonstration, officials said the issue is not unique to Henry Mayo.

A car caravan bearing “Save Lives – Safer Staffing Now” placards wait for the traffic light in front of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital on Friday, 010820. Dan Watson/The Signal

Henry Mayo ICU nurse Channan Wedemeyer said she typically cares for two patients at a time — but she’s now caring for three under the waiver.

“As ICU nurses we’re taking care of three patients. Two was hard enough as it was, but three is even worse, especially in the COVID unit,” she said. “It’s causing the nurses to be extremely burnt out and stressed out. They’re not just worried for themselves, they’re worried about being so overwhelmed and so fatigued that they’re going to make a mistake and it puts these patients at risk.”

Staff outside of the ICU unit said they’re also feeling the effects of the overload, such as nurse Nerissa Soriano Black, a mother of two children who works in the cardiac telemetry unit. She went from caring for three patients to six, she said.

“Before the staffing waiver was implemented, we were able to spend 15 minutes every hour on each patient but now we’re only given 10 minutes,” she said. “Those 10 minutes includes putting on our personal protective equipment and taking them off so that we don’t contaminate the next patient, it includes reviewing lab results, imaging results (and) calling the physician for any abnormal findings.”

Labor Rep. Debbi Pacheco hands out placards that read “Save Lives – Safer Staffing Now” as participants prepare for a drive-by caravan in front of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital on Friday, 010820. Dan Watson/The Signal

For ICU nurse Clarissa Simpson, patient care is her top priority but she fears it is being jeopardized with more patient load.

“I absolutely love working in Henry Mayo and we want to give the very best care to our patients, but when we’re being stretched between multiple patients and trying to take care of just their basic medical needs, we’re not available to provide them the emotional support that they need. They don’t have their family there with them,” she said.

Some Henry Mayo nurses said they had warned hospital officials about the winter COVID-19 surge when the hospital laid off a number of staff in the summer of 2020. Offering incentives continuously and bringing in more nurses could bring relief to the hospital, they added.

Hospital officials expressed gratitude for their health care staff, adding the situation is in compliance with the law and part of the hospital’s efforts to deal with the significant surge in COVID-19 diagnoses the community has seen.

“As is widely reported, every hospital in California is dealing with unprecedented patient volumes,” said hospital spokesman Patrick Moody. “We are deeply grateful to the hundreds of dedicated Henry Mayo employees and medical staff members who are working long, demanding hours, extra shifts and performing heroically day after day after day to take care of every Henry Mayo patient under extremely challenging circumstances. As always Henry Mayo is complying with all state and federal health regulations. The state of California has allowed hospitals to waive staffing ratios as needed during this time.”

Friday’s demonstration in Valencia is among others that have taken place across the state with nurses rallying with their union, the California Nurses Association.

In response, officials with the California Hospital Association have said the increase in patients per nurses is to cope with the recent coronavirus surge that has left many hospitals at 0% ICU bed capacity and some, including Henry Mayo, to issue a “code triage” due to staffing shortages and a large number of COVID-19 patient admissions.

“With COVID, the reality is there are not enough staff, not enough nurses in this state at the moment to care for all of the patients who need our care,” said Jan Emerson-Shea,

vice president of external affairs with the Hospital Association. “We still have not seen the impact of Christmas, let alone New Years. We have not yet hit the peak of this. So, the waivers that the state Department of Public Health issues is for 60 days. That’s it. We’re not turning back the clock on ratios forever.”

Emerson-Shea was critical of the Nurses Association, calling the demonstrations a “publicity stunt.”

“It’s really not a time that people should be standing on the sidelines and protesting,” she said. “We should all be working together: hospitals, doctors, nurses, state officials, public health to address the crisis we are facing in the state.”

The California Office of Emergency Services recently asked the federal government for 500 medical personnel to aid overloaded hospitals, following an initial request from L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn to secure the USNS Mercy hospital ship, but the ship is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Monday, Jan 18, 2021
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: 7 Deaths at Henry Mayo Since Friday; SCV Cases Near 22,000
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed 88 new deaths and 9,927 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported 7 new fatalities since Friday.
Monday, Jan 18, 2021
SCV Husband-and-Wife Team Open Rapid COVID-19 Testing Company
After Harleen Grewal became one of the 1 million Los Angelenos to be diagnosed with COVID-19, she realized there’s a better way for people to find out whether they have the virus, or whether they need to isolate because they potentially could make someone else sick.
Monday, Jan 18, 2021
COVID-19 Variant First Found in Other Countries, States Now in California
The California Department of Public Health, in coordination with Santa Clara County and the University of California San Francisco, on Sunday announced that an L452R variant of COVID-19 is increasingly being identified by viral genomic sequencing in multiple counties across the state, including Los Angeles County.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1967 - Original airing of Star Trek "Arena" Episode: Kirk battles the Gorn commander (Saugus resident Bobby Clark) at Vasquez Rocks [watch]
Kirk vs. Gorn commander
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed 88 new deaths and 9,927 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported 7 new fatalities since Friday.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: 7 Deaths at Henry Mayo Since Friday; SCV Cases Near 22,000
After Harleen Grewal became one of the 1 million Los Angelenos to be diagnosed with COVID-19, she realized there’s a better way for people to find out whether they have the virus, or whether they need to isolate because they potentially could make someone else sick.
SCV Husband-and-Wife Team Open Rapid COVID-19 Testing Company
The California Department of Public Health, in coordination with Santa Clara County and the University of California San Francisco, on Sunday announced that an L452R variant of COVID-19 is increasingly being identified by viral genomic sequencing in multiple counties across the state, including Los Angeles County.
COVID-19 Variant First Found in Other Countries, States Now in California
Seeking to support Los Angeles County's efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the tragic impact on its residents, Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn are calling for additional flexibility in the county's vaccination effort to include as many residents as possible and a process to begin vaccinating those 65 and older.
Barger, Hahn Call for Expanded COVID Vaccination Effort in L.A. County
As Americans celebrate the legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work to expand voting rights and representation, Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday formally submitted the appointment of Alex Padilla to become California’s first Latino U.S. Senator and the nomination of Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber to become the state’s first African American Secretary of State.
Newsom Formally Appoints Padilla a U.S. Senator; Nominates Weber as New Secretary of State
A federal class action filed Friday claims Bank of America failed to secure debit cards containing unemployment benefits for millions of Californians, leading to widespread fraud and making some cardholders unable to access needed funds during a pandemic.
Bank of America Sued for California Unemployment Fraud Scheme
The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management will be on high alert Monday night due to the potential of extreme Santa Ana wind and fire weather conditions in much of the county late Monday night into early Wednesday.
L.A. County on High Alert for Strong Wind, Fire Weather Conditions
1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]
Saugus Cafe
1994, 4:31 a.m. - Magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake rocks Santa Clarita Valley [video]
bridge
1926 - Newhall Community Hospital, est. 1922, opens in larger, more modern hospital building at 6th & Spruce streets [story]
Newhall Community Hospital
The death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic surpassed 2 million on Friday and the World Health Organization warned the global health crisis may get even worse as people weary of restrictions let down their guard and contagious strains of the virus spread around the globe.
Pandemic Death Toll Hits 2 Million Worldwide
At least once a month, residents of the Cali Lake RV community, nestled in a quiet canyon off a rural part of Soledad Canyon Road, have had their power shut off due to Southern California Edison’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
Residents Mostly Impacted by Power Shutoffs Express Concern Over Ongoing Events
Late Friday afternoon, a group of parents and student-athletes gathered in front of the William S. Hart Union High School District office to urge the district to bring athletic-conditioning back to school campuses.
Parents, Student-Athletes Gather to Urge Hart District to Bring Athletics Back
A future open space trailhead in the Tesoro area will be named after a founding Santa Clarita city councilman, and a portion of land in Newhall after a family who has donated several acres of land to the city for open-space preservation.
City Council OKs Dedications in Tesoro Area, Newhall Pass Open Space
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 258 new deaths and 15,051 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with cases likely to reach over 1 million this weekend. In addition, the Santa Clarita Valley has reached 21,189 total cases.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Cases Near 1 Million Countywide; 258 New Deaths in County
Jim and Anita Lombardi of Federal Escrow, Inc. donated $50,000 to the Boys and Girls Club to help the organization continue providing COVID-19 relief services in the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Boys and Girls Club Receives $50,000 Financial Gift from Federal Escrow, Inc.
The Castaic Union School District governing board appointed a new president during its annual organizational board meeting last month.
CUSD Board Appoints Mayreen Burk as New Board President
The California Supreme Court declared Thursday that worker classification standards set forth in its Dynamex decision should apply retroactively to a labor class action from 15 years ago, as well as all non-final cases that predate the 2018 landmark ruling.
California High Court Makes Landmark Independent Contractor Ruling Retroactive
Los Angeles County officials announced five additional mass-vaccination sites set to open next week which include Six Flags Magic Mountain and California State University, Northridge.
Six Flags, CSUN Set to Open as Mass Vaccination Sites
Waste Management has extended its temporary residential green waste pick-up schedule for customers in Santa Clarita, with regular service anticipated to resume the week of Jan. 25.
Waste Management Extends Modified Green Waste Pick-Up Schedule
The College of the Canyons ‘Canyons Promise’ free tuition program for new students is now accepting applications for the 2021-22 year.
COC’s Canyons Promise Program Now Accepting 2021-22 Applications
The ice rink in Valencia, which the City acquired last year, is currently undergoing renovations prior to its highly anticipated grand reopening later this year.
Renovations for Highly Anticipated City-Owned Ice Rink Continue
The MAIN is set to host eight weeks of free virtual productions from around the world from Jan. 22 through March 12 via Zoom for the Stage on Screen Theatre Fest's International Edition of online theatre.
Jan. 22-March 12: The Main’s Stage On Screen Theatre Fest Goes International
%d bloggers like this: