Nurses walk off job while protesting staffing numbers for COVID-19 patients at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit

8 nurses leave work

Nurses at Detroit hospital protest over safety concerns amid virus outbreak

DETROIT – Nurses at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit protested staffing numbers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which resulted in an overnight walkout.

The nurses arrived at work at 7 p.m. on Sunday and saw the workload. Nurse Sal Hadwan, who led the protest, said the nurses would each have about a dozen seriously ill patients under their care. About half of those patients would be on a ventilator.

April 6 update -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases reach 17,221; Death toll up to 727

“It’s unsafe for the patients. We couldn’t go out there and provide the level of care they deserve,” Hadwan said.

The nurses went to the break room and asked management for more help. Management told them to get to work or leave, so eight nurses went home. The other nurses at the hospital then had to work 25 hour shifts.

“It’s unfortunate what happened last night,” Hadwan said. “We hope they can rectify the situation by getting us additional help because that’s all we were asking for.”

Hadwan said he plans to go into work Monday. It is unknown if the nurses who participated in the walkout will be reprimanded.

“We are scheduled to go to work tonight and all plan to go there,” he said. “We all enjoy working at Sinai.”

The hospital released a statement Monday:

“We know this is a very challenging time for caregivers. Our doctors and nurses continue to demonstrate their commitment and dedication to our patient.

"We are disappointed that last night a very small number of nurses at Sinai-Grace hospital staged a work stoppage in the hospital refusing to care for patients.

“Despite this, our patients continued to receive the care they needed as other dedicated nurses stepped in to provide care.”

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.