As further evidence to make their case that Sutter allowed quality of care to lapse, the CNA statement said that on Friday, a registered nurse at Alta Bates Summit "returned to work after an urgent notification from the hospital to CNA that it needed a nurse it had locked out who has specialized competency and expertise in caring for patients in need of complex procedures such as dialysis and pheresis."
The CNA is further questioning whether hospitals that call in replacement personnel assure their qualifications for the jobs they're assigned to perform, and are asking the California board of Registered Nursing to look into the licenses of the "strikebreaking nurses and the nurse supervisors" who worked during the strike and lockout.
"Failure to guarantee clinical competencies and not assuring proper certifications violate California law, and put patients at risk," said CNA Legislative Director Bonnie Castillo, RN.
In the California Hospital Association statement, Dauner said that when nurses call a strike, "hospitals cannot simply send their patients home and close the doors. Patients still need care, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The only option is for hospitals to hire temporary replacement nurses. The nurses union knows that hospitals must hire these temporary workers when they make permanent nurses walk picket lines.
"If the union believes the use of licensed replacement nurses is a threat to public safety, then why have they chosen to pursue a pattern of waging strikes on a routine basis?" Dauner asked.
He ended the statement saying that while the CHA "deeply regrets that this tragic situation occurred," he noted that "in many cases, full-time nurses in Northern California hospitals earn more than $150,000 per year."