Nurses strike Cook County Health for 1 day over staffing

Nurses strike Cook County Health for 1 day over staffing

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CHICAGO — Nurses for the Cook County Health System will be on the picket lines Thursday. They are striking because of what they call a staffing crisis at Cook County Health.

The strike is set to begin Thursday morning because the National Nurses Organizing Committee says negotiations have failed to address the lack of nursing staff throughout the health system.

At Stroger Hospital, the union says 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 say that leads to canceled surgeries daily and delayed care that makes patients sicker.

Nurses will strike 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.

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