SARASOTA & BRADENTON- Nurses from the Suncoast and beyond put down their stethoscopes and picked up picket signs Thursday morning.
An alliance of nurses fought for quality patient care, they feel they can’t deliver anymore.
“We all want to do the best possible job that we can and if we don’t have the staffing to do it, then we feel that we’re not getting the best outcome for the patient,” said Susan Cokley, an RN at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota.
It was a response to ongoing contract negotiations; nurses from 6 HCA–affiliated hospitals rallied in front of their hospitals.
46% of nurses from Doctors Hospital of Sarasota have been employed less than three years and 55% at at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton.
“Competitive wages and compensation in order to recruit and retain the best nurses,” Cokley said.
Ralliers fought for lower turnover rates and picketed for compliance to staffing grids.
“I want to focus on retaining those nurses who are experienced and not just keep bringing in new grads…keep more of us who are seasoned and have lived here a long time,” Geniece Hunp, RN at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota said.
Susan Cokley said high patient to nurse ratios add an extra headache.
“People wanting to bring us patients and if there just aren’t enough nurses there to get reports, get patients there in a timely manner,” she said.
Some were hopeful management will realize why they choose to be nurses.
“We all live and work in our community. I grew up here. My parents have both been patients at this hospital; my husband, my best friend, and we care about our community and we want to provide the best care possible,” said Candice Cordero, RN at Blake Medical Center.
Nurses from St. Petersberg General Hospital, Osceola Regional Medical Center, and Oak Hill Hospital rallied too.