Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nurses protest at HCA Largo Medical Center

Nurses and their supporters protest along West Bay Drive and 14th Street at the entrance to Largo Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon. About 350 nurses work at Largo Medical’s main and Indian Rocks campuses.


Nurses and their supporters protest along West Bay Drive and 14th Street at the entrance to Largo Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon. About 350 nurses work at Largo Medical’s main and Indian Rocks campuses.

LARGO — Nurses at Largo Medical Center went public Tuesday with their grievances, waving red and white signs in front of the hospital reading "safe staffing = better patient care."

Since January, Largo Medical Center nurses have filed almost 150 complaints with hospital managers and their relatively new union. Nurses can't refuse an assignment but can register objections, in this case mostly involving claims of inadequate staffing.

Many who float between hospital units also say they are asked to cover in areas for which they feel poorly prepared. "We have some patient safety concerns," Largo Medical nurse Julia Scott said.

About 350 nurses work at Largo Medical's main and Indian Rocks campuses, owned by the for-profit HCA hospital chain. Despite the blustery weather, the rally drew more than 50 protesters, mostly nurses at Largo Medical. It was the first such demonstration since Largo Medical nurses voted about a year ago to affiliate with the National Nurses Organizing Committee-Florida, part of the 170,000-member National Nurses United.

The nurses are asking the hospital to create a task force composed of bedside nurses to resolve patient care issues. Management has refused that request, prompting the protest, organizers said.

Largo Medical officials said the demonstration would not affect patient care, noting that they have been negotiating with the union since April over a nursing contract. "As bargaining moves ahead, we will continue to provide uninterrupted, high-quality health care to our patients and the community we serve," the hospital said in a statement.

The national union routinely organizes protests over staffing practices that members consider substandard. Last month, nurses picketed outside Oak Hill Hospital in Brooksville to draw attention to what it called unsafe staffing levels.

Nurses from Oak Hill, Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg General and Community Hospital in New Port Richey — all HCA hospitals — joined the picket line to show camaraderie.

The protest comes just months after a Pinellas County physician filed a federal lawsuit against Largo Medical, which he says violated his civil rights.

Kidney specialist Dr. Abraham Awwad claims that Largo Medical's decision to revoke his staff privileges followed one of his complaints involving a patient who died when dialysis was not started on time. State inspectors responding to Awwad's complaints found serious deficiencies in Largo Medical's dialysis program, run by an outside vendor.

Letitia Stein can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8330. For more health news, visit

Nurses protest at HCA Largo Medical Center 10/18/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 9:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series


    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  2. Review: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shower love, star power on Tampa's Amalie Arena


    Near the end of their potent new duet Break First, Tim McGraw stopped singing, and let Faith Hill's powerhouse voice take over.

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2017.
  3. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack


    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  4. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath


    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  5. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.