ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — Nurses at UPMC Altoona held a virtual town hall Monday evening to discuss concerns over their working conditions during COVID-19.

UPMC has witnessed a drop in nurse staffing, which has stressed the system at UPMC Altoona and hospitals around the country, according to employees.

Nurse Jessica Giarth said she feels like UPMC is taking advantage of her with her ethics and morals and that the hospital is extorting the employees’ compassion as nurses.

“The conditions are awful and I feel bad for any of my co-workers have to go there every single day for work,” Giarth said.

Employees have cited a lack of resources and low pay as reasons making it difficult to stay.

“Even when I have an absurd amount of patients, I do my best to manage them and take care of them, but I’m at the point where I just can’t,” former hospital staff Erin Burchfield said.

State Representative Jim Gregory (R-80) shared his opinion on the matter and said he has not been shy about his opinion on UPMC.

“I know we’re being recorded but I’m just going to say it… I think they’ve been horrible for Blair County,” he said.

Rep. Gregory said he has to look more into a current patient-to-nurse ratio bill in order to sign it. WTAJ has reached out to UPMC for a statement but has not received one at this time.

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