Healthcare Heroes are NOT OK – Staff Shortages and Workplace Violence

“I am killing myself to do the job of multiple nurses. I used to remember how much I loved my job. Now I try not to cry on my way to work.” – Santa Clara County RN

It’s been over one and a half years since the pandemic started – over one and a half years since we’ve started being referred to as “healthcare heroes“. There are still signs hanging outside some hospitals saying “healthcare heroes work here” or “thank you healthcare heroes”.

But actions speak louder than words.

We don’t feel like heroes. We feel burnt out. We feel defeated. And worst of all, we feel disposable. Nursing staffing shortages have been devastating, with nurse to patient ratios dropping to dangerous levels – and on top of it all, workplace violence has dramatically increased, making nurses feel even more unsafe, unheard, and unappreciated.

However, talking about ratios, percentages and numbers misses a critical part of the picture – the brutal effect of these issues on our nurses. RNPA has collected the stories and experiences of almost 100 nurses and have compiled them into this document so the true impact of these policies can be heard:

The best time to act was yesterday. The next best time to act is today. Please read these stories and know what we’ve been going through – join us, and let’s fix this together.

The fight’s not over yet.

A virtual meeting is taking place next week on Tuesday the 28th, where the Board of Supervisors will be reviewing a proposal that we worked on getting for them that highlights the issues and makes recommendations to help improve staffing and workplace violence.

The meeting starts at 9:30am, and we are looking for passionate nurses who would like to speak during public comment for one minute on our agenda item #18. Please see link below for login information, agenda, and refer to page 2 on the document for instruction on “public comments.”

The more speakers we have the better. Let’s end this together.

Join the fight: