WASHINGTON - Healthcare workers are sending out a plea for help to Washington legislation for the staffing crisis going on.

"We'd be negligent in our jobs if we didn't make this a top priority" said Diane Sosne, President SEIU Healthcare.

In a new poll released by the Washington Safe and Healthy Campaign, It says 49% of health care workers say they are likely to leave the health care industry in the next few years, mainly because of short staffing.

"We cannot recruit and retain health care workers when burn out is the norm in our hospitals now" said Ademola Adeyemo CNA University of Washington Medical Center.

Many health care workers are upset that hospital management have let their staff continue to work in an understaffed environment for so long.

"Hospital executives and management have not stepped up to ensure that there were enough workers at the bedside to safely care for every patient even during everyday crisis's" said Sarah Cherin, Executive VP for UFCW 21. "Let alone this prolonged public health disaster."

The lack of healthcare workers isn't a new thing, but working in a pandemic has made the issue into a bigger problem.

"But this (understaffing) happening before has been magnified by the COVID pandemic and it's stressing people to the very max" said Derek Roybal, Cardiovascular tech, Providence Sacred Heart. "Imagine it like a rope when it starts to unfray, a little piece goes here, well the rest of the rope has to hold that on."

The Healthcare Union is asking Washington's legislative officials to pass safe staffing standards that would protect health care workers from dangerously high patient loads, enforce existing overtime, meal and rest break laws and invest in workforce development.

"It really does set sort of safe staffing standers and it empowers workers and managers to make sure that that fits the needs of the facility" said Cherin.

The Healthcare Union is hoping that if this is passed in January this would help protect them from the massive burnout and unmanageable conditions our healthcare workers say currently facing...  and hopefully prevent people from leaving.