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LOCAL : Day-Shift Nurses Calling In Sick

From Times Wire Services

Day-shift nurses at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit called in sick today in an apparently spreading protest of working conditions.

Ten of 14 nurses scheduled for the morning shift called in sick, said Connie Diaz, administrator of the medical center’s Women’s Hospital. Seven nurses from the Sunday night shift also stayed home, she said.

The sickout began Saturday when all eight night-shift nurses called in sick, Diaz said.

Diaz said administrators hoped to meet with the nurses today to discuss their concerns.

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A woman who identified herself as one of the absent nurses told The Times that the nurses are concerned about workloads. She said state standards require at least one nurse to every two intensive-care babies. County-USC, with its huge obstetric caseload, at times has a ratio of one nurse to four babies, she said.


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