PA: Safe Staffing and Quality Care Act introduced

  1. Safe Staffing and Quality Care Act introduced

    From the June 28, 2002 print edition
    Pittsburgh Business Times
    http://www.bizjournals.com/industrie...gh_focus3.html

    Lynne Glover
    HARRISBURG -- State legislation intended to improve patient care as well as the working environment for hospital nurses was introduced last week.

    The Safe Staffing and Quality Care Act would require licensed facilities to develop and publish a staffing plan that meets minimum nurse-to-patient ratios. The ratios would vary from unit to unit...


    ...The bill -- introduced by state Sen. Allyson Schwartz (D-Philadelphia) and Rep. Timothy Solobay (D-Canonsburg) -- was drafted with the help of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, a 4,000-member statewide organization that has been a major supporter of staffing ratios.

    Earlier this year, the group cut its affiliation with the American Nurses Association, which opposes mandatory ratios. PASNAP instead affiliated with a newly formed national nurses' organization, the American Association of Registered Nurses...
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    PASNAP tried to get staffing limits in it's first contract with Crozer Chester Medical Center and failed; however did get language to have staffing committee with staff nurses reps.

    I have problems with mandatory staffing legislation--minimum numbers will become the norm, never over that level at this time. Think it would be better to have legislation focus on establishing staffing guideline committee within each institution made up of mgmt and staff nurses with documentation of decisions why levels chosen. Penelties if levels not maintained. Staff RN's with right to petition for lower levels....what do you think???
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jul 6, '04
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Good work nurses!
    Thanks to the politicians and voters!
    We are watching and praying for your success on behalf of all who need a nurse.
  4. by   cguzowski
    Employers are making RNs worked short staffed because beds need to be filled and revenue needs to be generated, bills need to be paid and employees need to be paid. Employers ' hands are tied too, because there just aren't many nurses out there to fill the amount of open positions.

    If staffing ratios become linked to "laws", how will hospitals be held accountable for the new staffing ratios?

    What does this mean for nurses already overworked? ...possible manditory OT, vacation freezes? Would you, the staff nurse be "breaking the law" if you didn't come in to work on your day off if your manager called you in?

    What is the trickle down effect?
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    How can nurses not support safe staffing?
    Does anyone think it is safe to have surgery with NO nurse in the OR? A severe trauma case with the nurse also assigned other patients? A Mom in hard labor without a nurse or doctor?
    Try these links for documentation on errors:
    http://www.jcaho.org/about+us/news+l...ert/sea_25.htm

    www.ahcpr.gov/qual/errback.htm

    When we got 2 or fewer patients per nurse at all times hospitals said, "We will have to close, we can't do it" and other gloom and doom statements. In the next 20 years hospital profits soared!

    I find nurses working as clerks, fly fishing instructors, and other jobs who say they will go back to the hospital if the staffing is better.

    Best, in my mind to have a law that requires safe staffing then unnecessary deaths.
    Who has had to walk past ringing call bells and patients crying, "Help!" or "Nurse" on the way to help a sicker patient?

    One BSN who worked for 2 years told me, "My children and husband deserve a better Mom and wife than I can be working in the hospital. Do I miss nursing? Yes! But I just couldn't take the heavy loads."

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