WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Nurses walked out of their shift at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis on Monday night because they said the conditions they were being asked to work with were unsafe for the patients.

"We've had numerous doctors state if staffing would've stayed the way it did last night people would've died," said union nurse Lisa Watson.

She says there were three nurses that were assigned three patients each. Watson says this would mean the patients wouldn't get the one on one care they need and that their doctors ordered for them. She added every patient would've suffered from the staffing situation and she was told family members were also concerned about it.

"They had particularly acuity patients, trauma patients, who needed one on one observation and they would not get the care that they were supposed to get," she said.

She says the nurses brought this up to upper management and were told to leave.

"We had a director walk in and told the nurses you either take the assignment whether you believe it's unsafe or not, or you go home," she said.

A Via Christi spokesperson says the hospital brought in extra workers to fill their spots.

"In the instance when a nurse refuses to work their shift, following our patient safety standards, and per our mutually-agreed upon contract, we excuse them and bring in additional nursing support to ensure there are no gaps in care," said Via Christi in a statement.

Watson says not only were the conditions unsafe to work in but they also went against the contract the hospital signed with the nurses in April.

"This happens everyday at St. Francis, unfortunately. In our contract it says the ICU is supposed to be 2-1," she said.

She says when the nurses left the day shift nurses had to stay three hours longer which is also against the contract. She also said supervisors who aren't certified to work in the surgical ICU jumped in to fill the gap. 

She wants the community to know she and other nurses are fighting everyday to make sure patients get the care they need but it's exhausting when it feels like Via Christi doesn't care.

Via Christi says making sure its patients are safe and healthy is always its number on priority.

"Ensuring the health and safety of our patients is the basis of all of our care decisions, including staffing. All of our units, including the SICU, are staffed to provide safe, quality care," it said.