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For months now, respiratory therapists around the region have been among the nurses and medical technicians demonstrating in front of their hospitals about low staffing levels.

One such protest happened on Morse Avenue in front of Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Thursday.
Picketers point to a system strained by the pandemic and hospital managers not reacting quickly enough to meet the needs.

Kaiser Permanente issued a statement in response to Thursday’s protest, saying in part:

Some unions are conducting sympathy pickets in support of Local 39. It’s important for our members and patients to know that sympathy picketing is not a strike and does not impact our care delivery or operations. Our hospitals and medical offices remain open and are safe places to receive care. These individuals are choosing to picket on their own time, off of work hours. We are not in bargaining with these unions.

Kaiser Permanente

Getting more respiratory therapists into the employment pipeline is one of this week’s, National Respiratory Care Week, goals.

Robby Nijjar, the director of Respiratory Therapy at the Rancho Cordova campus of San Joaquin Valley College, joined Sonseeahray to discuss how to do that.