WGXC-90.7 FM

Albany Med nurses to picket over staffing levels

Sep 23, 2019 1:15 pm
Bethany Bump is reporting for the Times Union the nurses at Albany Medical Center are planning to picket the hospital September 25, to draw attention to what they say are unsafe staffing levels at the facility. The hospital currently has almost 200 nursing positions open. This will be the first picket line at Albany Med since nurses voted to unionize in April 2018. "This is not just about the nurses," said Kathryn Dupuis, a nurse on the maternity ward who's been with Albany Med for 24 years. "This affects the entire community. We want people to be able to go to Albany Med and get the kind of care we would want our families to get, and you can't do that without good staffing." Hospital spokesman Jeffrey Gordon said Albany's vacancy rate compares similarly to other upstate New York hospitals. Dupuis said the maternity ward is seeing more patients admitted with co-occurring illnesses. "I love the fact that we take care of such high-risk patients, but it gets really scary when you're afraid to end your shift and go home because you know there's just not enough nurses to go around." In July, the public learned that Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson was closing its birthing center and referring all pregnant women to Albany Med for labor and delivery. Read the full story in the Times Union.