by Shamaar Thomas
Washington’s health care workforce crisis is representative of the same uphill battle others states are fighting across the country, with burnout among the most significant problems after the pandemic. A recent poll from the WA Safe + Healthy coalition shows that 49% of health care workers in Washington are “likely to leave the health care profession in the next few years” and 79% report burnout. To combat the health care workforce crisis in King County, the nonprofit collaborative HealthierHere launched a $5 million effort in January to support 39 local health care organizations in addressing workforce challenges. The effort’s goal is to help organizations meet their workforce needs, address challenges, and ultimately continue providing culturally responsive care to their communities, said HealthierHere’s interim CEO Thuy Hua-Ly.
Continue reading HealthierHere Launches $5M Effort to Address Washington Workforce Crisis
by Sally James
Nurses and other hospital-based workers joined union officials Dec. 13 to launch a lobbying effort aimed at creating minimum standards for staff numbers in hospitals.
In an emotional press conference by livestream, several workers shared their own experiences with covering gaps left by short staffing. There were staff shortages before the pandemic began, but the crucible of the outbreak made it worse. The project is called the Washington Safe and Healthy Campaign.
Continue reading Too Many Patients, Too Few Staff Members Create Unsafe Conditions, Unions Announce
by Meseret Amare
When I heard about a violent patient escaping and injuring 11 of my coworkers, including one who left the facility on a stretcher, I was terrified — but sadly, not surprised. As a mental health tech at a psychiatric hospital in Tukwila, we work with patients going through recovery at all stages — and sometimes, they can be volatile. My employer, Cascade Behavioral Health, rejected our request for trained security staff to help when crises like these arose. We were at risk — and had had enough.
Continue reading OPINION: Behavioral Health Workers Took On a Giant Corporation — and Won Big
by Alexa Peters
Content Warning: This article contains brief mention of suicide.
On the evening of Aug. 1, Eiob Teklie, a mental health technician at Cascade Behavioral Health (Cascade) in Tukwila watched as an unstable male patient stole an employee badge and ran with free rein throughout the multi-wing psychiatric facility, verbally and physically assaulting employees and tormenting patients suffering from acute mental illness.
Continue reading Cascade Behavioral Health Staff Strike Against Unsafe Working Conditions Continues