Complaints filed by hospital workers in Washington reached an all-time high during 2021—as they struggled to manage spikes in COVID-19 hospitalizations—due to a lack of adequate equipment, unsafe work conditions, lack of support from employers, and other issues.

The complaints largely reference a lack of staff safety, shortages or inadequate equipment, and other patient concerns, the statement said.

“People are quitting because of dangerous staffing practices that have gone ignored for far too long,” Hopkins said in the statement. “There’s no use in increasing our workforce if they’re just going to burn out within a year. We need to recruit more health care workers to the bedside, but we also need to make sure they can do their jobs safely.”

Hospital leaders, in a regularly scheduled Thursday news conference, again recognized how overburdened many of their staff members are, calling them the “backbone” of health care, but provided few details in response to workers’ ongoing requests.

Read the full article at the Seattle Times.