CHICAGO — Cook County Health postponed non-urgent procedures and appointments and brought in temporary help after 900 nurses went on a one-day strike Thursday to protest staffing shortages.
The strike is calling attention to failed negotiations over what the nurses say is a staffing crisis.
At Stroger Hospital, the union said the staffing guidelines require 35 nurses in the emergency room at the start of each day, but on the best days there are only 30 and more often than that – 22 or 25.
Nurses said that leads to canceled surgeries daily and delayed care that makes patients sicker.
“The staffing inside is horrible and has been growing worse day-by-day,” Dave Falguni said. “We been complaining about it over two years and they have not fixed the situation.”
Nurses are striking at Stroger and also at Provident Hospital and Cermak Health Services.
Cook County Health says some elective and non-urgent procedures have been rescheduled as a result, but the health system is bringing in skilled agency nurses to cover trauma and emergency departments and operating rooms during this one-day strike.
The striking nurses said there are more than 400 nurse vacancies at this time.
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