I was told by a nurse who went on strike in California recently that a major issue for the strike was nurses doubling up on patients for all breaks and nothing is done when they report it to the Department of Public Health. There is specific language in the ratio law that says the ratios must be met at all times rule for expected absence from the unit such as lunches & breaks and in-services or staff meetings.
They also said they never get additional staff for the acuity according to the patient classification system. The ratios are the maximum and sometimes not even that.
Has anyone ever reported a violation in nurse ratios to the Department of public health? Some had said they went out of ratio while DPHS was on the unit and they went about as if it wasn't an issue.
Is this a big issue at non-union hospitals too?
Oct 6, '11
employers generally try to get away with all they can. it reminds me of drivers getting away with speeding or running a red light.
the former governor cut the budget for enforcement of hospital regulations.
some hospitals actially listen to their nurses. but all too often the budget is more important than patient care.
i'm glad nurses are not letting them break the law. patients need safe staffing. even with the violations it is better now than before the ratios.
when there is a death due to a violation the hospital is fined if it is reported -
Oct 6, '11
I can relate to this because ancillary staff is not included in the ratio law and a staffing matrix does not usually designate back fill for when a CNA is pulled to be a sitter. However I believe many nurses are working in violation of the ratio and accepting it since it is "better than before" and they are "grateful to even have a job" attitude. The ratios are supposed to be the leanest and in this economy hospitals are not staffing to meet the patient needs, but rather staffing to meet the minimum requirement.
I also don't understand why professional nurse organizations like Cal Noc accepts any data from hospitals who do not follow the law especially in regards to the at-all-times rule. These violations hurt our professional image as well since if we can't advocate for ourselves who will?