A scathing piece from the OC Register published Monday accused Southern California Hospital – Culver City of circumventing vaccine guidelines by vaccinating family members of hospital workers before some of the nurses and doctors that are on the front lines.
The piece outlines several stories told to OC Register reporter Scott Schwebke by frontline workers about their experience trying to receive one of the extra vaccines that the hospital had in stock.
The allegations contained within highlight favoritism among hospital employees at the expense of frontline workers.
The first account is of a doctor who learned from a friend’s friend that Southern California Hospital – Culver City had extra vaccines to spare, and that the doctor could use the name of a physician there to get in.
The doctor arrived the next morning to try and receive the vaccine, only to be rebuffed by security. The doctor was forced to “appeal to a hospital employee in a white lab coat who had been standing near the security guards,” according to the article.
Soon, her horrors were only magnified as she saw multiple employees walk out of the hospital and return with family members to be vaccinated.
While this article was not brought up, representatives of the nurses at the hospital spoke at Monday’s Culver City council meeting to express their dismay over working conditions at the hospital.
LaRhonda Smith, a nurse at the hospital coming to speak for her coworkers, outlined several glaring issues that the hospital has, including the ER department having issues with consistent hot water, major leaks occurring when it rains, and antiquated pipes that leak or burst when the heater or AC turned on.
She also noted that the main lobby elevator had been out for over a year, putting significant pressure on workers in emergency situations.
“[There is] only one working elevator for patient transport, and this includes emergency situations like a Code Blue,” Smith explained
Maky Peters, a political organizer at Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Healthcare Workers union, also spoke at the meeting and noted that there have also been incidents where mold broke through a wall near a nursing station. She pointed to a ProPublica article written in November regarding Prospect Medical Holdings, the company that owns and runs the hospital, that provides context to some of the deeper issues within the institution.
Both representatives at the meeting implored the city council to write a letter to the hospital, asking them to address these and other issues and to negotiate “in good faith” with the nurses there.
The city council obliged, and are planning on working towards sending this letter.