Union alleges critically low staffing levels at HCA Healthcare hospitals in Las Vegas

The union SEUI is taking aim at HCA healthcare system, which runs several Las Vegas valley hospitals.
Published: Jan. 14, 2023 at 12:02 AM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The union SEIU is taking aim at HCA healthcare system, which runs several Las Vegas valley hospitals. The union said the health care provider is choosing profit over patients.

SEUI said staffing at the Nevada HCA Hospitals, which includes Sunrise, Mountain View and Southern Hills is 34% lower than the national average.

The study by the union found that 80% of frontline workers at HCA Hospitals around the country have witnesses patient care being jeopardized by short staffing.

“You did your best, but your best wasn’t enough because there wasn’t enough of you,” pediatric nurse at Sunrise Hospital Jody Dominec said. “That’s really demoralizing and unfortunately, we’ve seen lower retention numbers. It’s scary sometimes what you’re responsible for to keep the patient safe, and how little time you have to do it.”

Despite the stories from nurses like Dominec, the local affiliate of HCA Healthcare said they disagree with the union’s allegations.

“The reality is, against the backdrop of a national nursing shortage, exacerbated by a pandemic and continuing patient surges, our staffing is safe, appropriate, and in line with other community hospitals and applicable regulations,” Sunrise Health System told FOX5. “The labor union’s report cherry picked the CMS cost report data that supported its narrative and simply ignored the data that did not. Our hospitals are proud to have received many recent recognitions from Healthgrades including each one being recognized as one of the Top 250 hospitals in the country.”

Nurses are calling on HCA to raise staffing levels, improve pay and prioritize quality patient care.

“HCA needs to protect us so we can continue to protect our patients,” Dominec said.

This week Desert Springs Hospital, which is not affiliated with HCA, announced it is closing hospital operations. Part of the reasoning was staffing issues.

The Nevada Hospital Association said that eliminates 282 beds and 34 more in the ICU in the Las Vegas valley. Desert Springs will stop inpatient operations in March.