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VA San Diego Nurses Call For Improved Patient Care

Photo by Katie Schoolov

Above: Patients wait their turn at the VA Medical Center in La Jolla on June 20, 2014. VA officials say existing patients can make an appointment to see their doctor within two weeks, but new patients often can't get in for six weeks.

Registered nurses at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in La Jolla held a press conferences Wednesday to recommend changes that they say would improve service for veterans.

The VA has recently come under fire for service delays that have resulted in deaths at other VA medical center locations.

The nurses today said chronic understaffing and inadequate training have led to the problem.

"We've moved in the last two years into a process of turning the veterans into pegs that just get put in holes," said Michele Jacquin, a VA nurse in the intensive care unit.

The nurses are calling for a permanent increase in staff support and more operating room space to reduce wait times. They are also seeking an election to unionize about 500 registered nurses at VA San Diego hospital.

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