QUINCY (CBS) – Instead of tending to patients Thursday, nurses at the Quincy Medical Center are walking a picket line.

They claim their one day strike is needed to highlight poor care for patients and that Steward Health Care is under-staffing their medical centers to save money.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports

The nurses say they can safely watch four or five patients per nurse, but the current ratio is seven or eight to one.

Quincy Medical Center President Daniel Knell says they have empty beds with nurses watching them.

“We have a surplus of beds and a surplus of nurses watching empty beds and that’s not the way we need to run our business.  It’s not a smart use of our health care dollars,” he told WBZ-TV.

Paula Ryan is one of the organizers of the strike.  She has been at Quincy Medical for 45 years.

“Medications are delayed. We can’t always get in there when (a patient’s) buzzer goes off. We are nurturers, that’s what our license dictates to us. It’s very disturbing to us and very frustrating. Many nurses go home crying,” she told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

Ryan says 30 of their nurses are being laid off Friday.

Quincy Medical was given 12 days notice to bring in replacements for the strike.  It has also postponed all elective surgeries.

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