St. Charles Health System leaders adopted “crisis standards of care” to avoid having to comply with rules that govern nurse staffing levels. They rescinded the move after OHA said it would violate state law.
No longer convinced their employer is committed to service, roughly a third of nurses employed by Providence said they were ready to strike. Then Providence agreed to pay hikes and staffing changes at the health system's St. Vincent hospital in Portland.
More than 700 days have passed since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Oregon. Deep into the second year of the pandemic, the staff at Salem's only hospital are fighting to keep serving all the patients that come through their doors, without breaking under the pressure.
Oregon's hospitals are so short on beds, many have been forced to cancel elective surgeries. One underreported problem: about 10 percent of hospital beds are occupied by patients who are ready to leave but have nowhere to go.