March 22, 2023 12:42 am

Emergency space nurses at UC San Diego Health’s La Jolla hospital held a rally to point out what they stated are unsafe and overcrowded situations, as the overall health technique bargains with a spike in patient volume.

UCSD Overall health nurses with the California Nurses Association created a plea for much more employees and sources Thursday outdoors the emergency space at the Jacobs Healthcare Center.

“This is not the care we want for our sufferers or for our personal households,” stated Estefania Urbano, an ER nurse with UCSD Overall health.

Urbano stated she worries about lengthy wait occasions and treating sufferers in hallways, in particular these that could be immunocompromised.

“This is humiliating for sufferers, and most importantly an infectious threat to other people,” Urbano stated.

UCSD Overall health officials stated they have been incredibly busy — seeing historically higher numbers of sufferers.

“Like hospitals all through California, UC San Diego Overall health is presently experiencing unprecedented demand for its healthcare and surgical care — a have to have which is outpacing readily available hospital beds,” stated a statement from a UCSD spokesperson sent by way of e mail. “The effect is most visible in our Emergency Departments.”

The statement also stated the hospital technique is taking each measure attainable to care for sufferers, which from time to time suggests making use of overflow places or even diverting ambulances mainly because of demand.

“I have not noticed something like this,” stated Jocelyn Belleza, a UCSD Overall health ER nurse who has been with the technique for 20 years. “It has been progressively obtaining worse to the point that now we have to have to stand up and request much more interest.”

Belleza and other people stated the predicament is not sustainable.

“There’s a higher boost in burnout when you never have any help and there’s a lot of low morale amongst the employees,” Belleza stated.

March has been specifically busy at UCSD Health’s La Jolla campus. There have been two situations exactly where an “internal disaster” was declared, which suggests ambulances are not in a position to bring in sufferers. San Diego County officials stated the internal disaster declarations occurred on March two for about 22 hours and on March 7 for 18 hours.

ER nurses, and the union representing them, are calling for much more nurses and other help employees. They stated management has brought in some additional assistance, but it has not been sufficient.

“All my coworkers and the employees are carrying out our greatest to do our job but at the very same time we have to have the space, we have to have the gear — all the help we can get from management,” stated Maria Tan, UCSD Overall health nurse and union representative.

UCSD Overall health is not the only hospital technique that has busy emergency departments. Scripps Overall health officials stated they are dealing with a greater quantity of emergency space sufferers and lately opened a short-term 16-bed facility at Scripps Mercy in Chula Vista to address the demand.

“We have to have the county’s assistance with putting our sufferers in skilled nursing facilities and behavioral overall health step-down facilities, as nicely as decreasing ambulance visitors from emergency rooms to option care websites for sufferers who do not have to have the higher level of care supplied at the ER,” stated Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, chief healthcare officer with Scripps Overall health.

Sharieff stated these moves would assistance transfer sufferers from the emergency space to other places in the hospital and hence cut down the stress. Sharp HealthCare officials also stated their emergency departments have noticed an boost in sufferers.

“Both stroll-ins and sufferers that arrive by medics,” stated John Cihomsky, a spokesperson with Sharp. “While this boost has stressed San Diego’s EMS (emergency healthcare solutions) systems, Sharp has maintained established high-quality and security requirements and acceptable nurse-to-patient ratios to assure higher-high-quality emergency care.”

Kaiser Permanente San Diego officials stated so far this year patient volume is up about 7% compared to final year.

“Wait occasions are — commonly speaking — the very same with (the) vast majority of sufferers becoming noticed inside 1 hour,” stated Jennifer Dailard, spokesperson with Kaiser San Diego.

UCSD Overall health officials stated when attainable, they add further nurses to relieve stress. They also want to remind the public that minor overall health problems can be handled with very same-day visits to urgent care or even telehealth conferences.