Join us NOW to discuss the healthcare workforce crisis w/ the Democratic Policy Committee. Thank you @WayneDFontana, @Senatorcosta, @SenatorBrewster, @SenWilliamsPA, & @RepAustinDavis for co-hosting. Thank you @seiuhcpa for your partnership. #SenDemPolicy
@WayneDFontana @Senatorcosta @SenatorBrewster @SenWilliamsPA @RepAustinDavis @seiuhcpa Erin Williams, a respiratory therapist, highlights how important it is to have a union to represent workers to negotiate pay, staffing levels, and policies that allow healthcare workers to provide quality care to patients.
@WayneDFontana @Senatorcosta @SenatorBrewster @SenWilliamsPA @RepAustinDavis @seiuhcpa "We’re facing the same staffing crisis as nurses in other hospitals, which increases burnout and impacts our ability to provide the highest quality care to our patients. It’s my hope that we’ll be able to work with management to achieve that goal of giving the best care we can."
@WayneDFontana @Senatorcosta @SenatorBrewster @SenWilliamsPA @RepAustinDavis @seiuhcpa Christoria Hughes joins us as a cafeteria worker at UPMC, and highlights her own unique challenges as a woman of color.
"The region’s largest employer keeps its largely Black and female service workforce in poverty. That’s just the truth. This is what it’s like to be a Black woman in Pittsburgh. The wages paid to hospital workers
aren’t enough to live on."

This is immoral.
Kim Hitrick is a registered nurse at West Penn Hospital and has worked in healthcare since she was 16. Kim says hospitals are so short-staffed that essential care that patients need just can't possibly get done. This should not be the case, anywhere in the Commonwealth.
Kim says, "the stress of it all can be too much. You get burned out so easily, you get crabby, and then you
bring that home to your family. And working too fast and short-handed is scary because there’s always that risk you’ll make a mistake or miss something."
Nurses should only have to worry about the patients in their care - not equipment shortages or broken down machines, or running around trying to care for too many patients at one time.
Katrina Rechtenwald is a registered nurse, and talks about gender disparities that continue to exist in the workplace - which is completely unacceptable.
Katrina has a clear message for elected officials: "Just like elected leaders hear the needs of struggling workers, then, it’s time to hear caregivers and to act on our demands. We want our safe staffing bill at the top of the list of legislative priorities in Harrisburg."
"We want the hospital regulations to include a caregivers’ bill of rights to match the patient bill of rights. We want the women’s health agenda to include the need for unions in the healthcare industry."

COVID-19 laid bare the issues in front of us, let's face them head on.
Silas Russell from @seiuhcpa reminds us: "It feels like only yesterday that our entire healthcare system & government agencies were in panic, attempting to deliver adequate PPE to the millions of healthcare workers who never had an option to work from home or take leave."
Jeffrey Shook, a professor at @PittTweet, has done extensive research on how our laws impact children, youth, and families. Most recently he looked at how wage increases improve well-being for low wage workers - specifically, hospital workers whose union negotiated for $15/hr.
He found that 64% of those workers still faced housing hardship; 59%, medical hardship; 59%, food insecurity; 89%, financial insecurity. This means even though $15/hr made a positive difference, it's still not enough.
In addition, these workers reported high levels of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, trauma, and burnout. While COVID added another layer of stress to these workers’ lives, it is clear that many were already struggling, according to Shook's research.
We need to do so much more to support these workers. ALL of our lives depend on it.
Dr. Theresa Brown, who is an RN and NYT bestselling author, addresses workloads on nurses.

"Patients dying because nurses were given impossible workloads is the definition of moral distress. It causes trauma, and calling someone a hero will not heal that wound."

Dr. Brown has a clear warning for us: if we do not fix this crisis, nurses will quit. And patients will die.
Healthcare workers answered our call when COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill. It's time we answer theirs.


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