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Nurses union expresses concerns, calling for change

Nurses with ‘National Nurses United’, their family members, and friends gathered this afternoon wanting to be heard.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Nurses from several HCA Hospitals spent Monday evening calling for change and action including right here in Corpus Christi.

Nurses with ‘National Nurses United’, their family members, and friends gathered this afternoon wanting to be heard one of those nurses is Kimberly Smith. Smith is an ICU Nurse and has been serving the Coastal Bend for 23 years.

"We're negotiating our contract and the reason we're at here is staffing, meal breaks," said ICU Nurse Kimberly Smith.

"You've got hungry nurses who are overworked dealing with the stress and trauma of a pandemic and we're feeling like this is how you're gonna treat us.”

Smith says the pandemic has taken a toll on many nurses which is why they're asking HCA, a healthcare company that owns Corpus Christi Medical Center for changes to be made.

“If you truly care like family that caring needs to show every day in the way we're staffed and the resources we have,” said Smith.

Smith says they'll be meeting at the negotiation table on June 30 and are hoping to be heard and to be valued more moving forward.

"This is an opportunity for HCA to step up and show value and respect for the nurses and going into the contract negotiation knowing what we have gone through during the pandemic," said Smith.

3News reached out to Corpus Christi Medical Center and they released the statement below.

At Corpus Christi Medical Center, we understand that this kind of picketing activity sometimes occurs when a union and an employer are engaged in negotiations for a contract, as we are with this union. This is merely a form of demonstration that the union is legally allowed to do. We want the public to be assured that Corpus Christi Medical Center continues to provide the high quality patient care that it has always provided, even recently receiving Healthgrades quality and Leapfrog patient safety awards. Like many other health organizations throughout the country, we are focused on recruiting, retaining and engaging our workforce as evidenced by our recent above average engagement scores, in addition to promoting our nursing colleagues.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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