Nurses are concerned about understaffing and declining quality of care at hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the Milwaukee area, according to a new survey.
The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, a West Allis, Wis.-based union with more than 3,000 members, conducted the survey.
The union released the results of the survey May 3 to coincide with the start of National Nurses Week.
Almost 67% of the approximately 800 nurses who responded to the survey said quality of care had declined at their facilities, and 75% thought staffing was inadequate to meet patient needs.
The union sent out 20,000 surveys and received a 4% response rate.
Another 44% of nurses who responded said they wouldn't feel comfortable having someone close to them receive care at the facilities where they work.
The union is using the survey to call for an end to forced overtime and to push for state whistleblower protection laws and a law regarding staffing levels.
The survey polled nurses at Kenosha, Milwaukee, Racine and Sheboygan hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Among the survey's other findings:
* 52% of nurses said they feared they had made mistakes at work.
* 75% reported feeling overextended.
* 55% said they feared retaliation for raising concerns about safe staffing levels.
Jon Garner, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Health and Hospital Association, said he doubted whether the survey, with its low response rate, accurately depicted nurses' feelings.