A federal complaint has been filed against two Lenawee County hospitals.
Nurses at Bixby Hospital in Adrian and Herrick Hospital in Tecumseh say chronic understaffing is putting patients at risk. The nurses are asking the National Labor Relations Board to intervene. Dawn Kettinger is with the Michigan Nurses Association.
She says nurses often have to care for six or seven patients at a time, and are mandated to work 16-hour shifts.
"All the research tells us all of these practices translate to medical errors, more infections, even patient death," Kettinger says. "If you or a loved one needs to use the services of these hospitals, we'll do the absolute best we can, but it's getting tougher and tougher to give you safe care."
Kettinger says staffing levels vary by units, but says on a medical surgical floor, one nurse should not have to take care of more than four patients.