ALBANY, NY (WENY)--CURRENTLY IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK, hospitals ARE REQUIRED TO FOLLOW A SAFE STAFFING RATIO LAW.  

BUT MANY NURSES SAY hospitals ARE NOT FOLLOWING THE LAW AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IS NOT ENFORCING IT.  

HANNAH PALMER, AN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT NURSE AT ALBANY MEDICAL CENTER SAID THIS PAST WEEKEND SHE HAD EIGHT PATIENTS—MORE THAN DOUBLE THE AMOUNT REQUIRED BY LAW.  

“I mean it’s just not physically possible, you constantly feel like you’re not doing enough even when you’re doing your best because you can’t be in eight places at once,” she said. 

TO DATE THE New York State DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HAS INVESTIGATED 603 COMPLAINTS, RECENTLY INCLUDING ALBANY MEDICAL CENTER.  

SOME NURSES said AGENCY OFFICIALS SPENT THREE DAYS LAST WEEK INVESTIGATING ALBANY MED’S STAFFING ISSUES AND THEY ANTICIPATE THE HOSPITAL WILL BE ISSUED A CITATION CALLED A STATEMENT OF DEFICIENCY.  

“I’m hoping it will bring some change, but I think that Albany Med even after the visit last week is still not staffing to standards when they could be,”Jennifer Kiehle, a NICU nurse at Albany Med.

PALMER SAid IF SHE DOESN’T SEE CHANGES, SHE’S READY TO LEAVE.  

“If it doesn’t change, I don’t think I’d be staying. I went into nursing to provide quality care for people in my community and the longer that I’m here and not able to do that it becomes really demoralizing,” said Palmer.