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Nurses' strike over future of hospital care impacts patients in Twin Cities, Duluth

Nursing care for Loren Avalos and her newborn changed at 7 a.m. Monday, when regular nurses at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park walked off their jobs in a three-day strike over pay and staffing levels.

Only two replacement nurses took over care of fragile infants in the hospital's special care nursery, where there had been four. Loren's husband, Edwin, said the nurses seemed proficient but needed prompts for things the regulars had provided intuitively - like warmed-up bottles for feedings and ibuprofen for his wife's pain.

"We had been used to having the nurses stop by and asking us pretty consistently if things were needed," said Avalos, whose son was born Saturday and admitted to the nursery because of feeding difficulties. "After the strike started, it seemed like we would have to buzz them every single time."


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