STATEN ISLAND -- Dozens of Island nurses came together Wednesday to call on Staten Island University Hospital and Northwell Health to provide its nurses with the protective equipment, staff and support they need during the coronavirus pandemic, charging SIUH with being “late to the game” in its response.
“As nurses, our responsibility is to protect our patients, SIUH nurses are responding to this battle against COVID-19 with everything they can, unfortunately, the hospital has sent us into battle without the armor,” said Dawn Cardello, a SIUH nurse of over 32 years and member of the New York State Nurses Association’s executive committee, as she stood with other nurses outside of the SIUH emergency room off of Seaview Ave.
“Since the [coronavirus crisis] began, SIUH has been late to the game, the hospital has repeatedly failed to listen to frontline nurses and its put us and the patients we care for at risk,” Cardello said.
Cardello and other nurses said they do not have enough personal protective equipment to respond to the influx of patients the hospital has seen during the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, Cardello said many nurses have been out sick, which has created a “full-blown staffing crisis” at SIUH.
Since the pandemic, Cardello said the hospital has expanded to 11 intensive care units to treat coronavirus and non-coronavirus patients and that nurses are now treating between three to four ICU patients at a time when one nurse is typically supposed to treat two patients.
“If you have 11 critical care units, think about how many nurses you need,” Cardello said.
So far, it has been unclear what kind of impact the coronavirus is having on SIUH staff and exactly how many supplies the hospital has received, at least from the city, to date.