I have worked as a pediatric ICU nurse at Westchester Medical Center for more than seven years. Patients from a five-county region come to our hospital, including our children’s hospital and level I trauma center. We provide intensive and specialty care to some of the most vulnerable patient populations.
Understaffing is a long-standing issue in nursing that has only been exacerbated since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. With understaffed hospitals, units like my own often have patients in need of one-to-one nursing care, but instead, one nurse is assigned to care for two patients. Or instead of caring for two critically ill patients, a nurse is assigned to care for three patients. That level of unsafe staffing puts our patients — babies and children — in danger.