Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association say they’re at the breaking point due to long-term staff shortages in Minnesota hospitals — and are calling on CEOs and public officials to take action.  Kelley Anaas, I-C-U nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis:

“Just because we aren’t selling raffle tickets to see who gets a ventilator doesn’t mean that we aren’t rationing care.  A patient boarding in an emergency department in rural Minnesota for days, waiting for a staffed I-C-U bed at my hospital, is rationing care.”

Officials at the Minnesota Hospital Association weren’t immediately available to respond  — but earlier acknowledged the state’s health systems are experiencing a workforce crisis.  Officials say they’ve responded with “innovative workforce efforts and by advocating for state and federal support for our sites which are operating 24/7 under tremendous financial pressure.”

Wendy Wahl, R-N at Sanford Hospital in Thief River Falls says to avoid short-staffing, the 60 nurses currently at that hospital are supposed to work extra shifts:

“Twelve to 21 extra days’ worth of work that nurses are expected to spend away from their families every two weeks.  This was all true before COVID-19.”

Trisha Ochsner, R-N at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital says:

“Twin Cities CEOs, they have trimmed, sliced and diced staffing and services to prioritize their revenues, which directly impacts patient and family care.”