Nurses rally at Texas Capitol building - page 3

Nurses rally at Texas Capitol building They devote their lives to helping patients, now they're asking for the state's help. Tuesday, dozens of nurses from across the state rallied at the State... Read More

  1. by   pickledpepperRN
    Coleman and Burger: Health and safety
    State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, and Deborah Burger, SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS

    Wednesday, February 21, 2007
    Imagine being alone and sick in the hospital. It’s a frightening and stressful experience, but you can always count on one person to be at your bedside: the registered nurse. RNs are on the front lines of our medical system and every family in the state will eventually rely on their care.
    That is why a coalition of Texas lawmakers has joined with the National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) and today will introduce the Texas Hospital Patient Protection Act of 2007, which will significantly improve patient safety in our hospitals with enhanced standards for nurses and stronger protections for patients.
    The sad fact is that Texas nurses do not have the support they need to do their job. We’re seeing an exodus of RNs from the hospital bedside because of hazardous working conditions and dangerously unsafe assignments that are not up to national standards.
    This must change….

    http://www.statesman.com/search/cont...akes_edit.html
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Feb 21, '07 : Reason: fix the link
  2. by   RN34TX
    Quote from spacenurse
    Coleman and Burger: Health and safety
    State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, and Deborah Burger, SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS

    Wednesday, February 21, 2007
    Imagine being alone and sick in the hospital. It's a frightening and stressful experience, but you can always count on one person to be at your bedside: the registered nurse. RNs are on the front lines of our medical system and every family in the state will eventually rely on their care.
    That is why a coalition of Texas lawmakers has joined with the National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) and today will introduce the Texas Hospital Patient Protection Act of 2007, which will significantly improve patient safety in our hospitals with enhanced standards for nurses and stronger protections for patients.
    The sad fact is that Texas nurses do not have the support they need to do their job. We're seeing an exodus of RNs from the hospital bedside because of hazardous working conditions and dangerously unsafe assignments that are not up to national standards.
    This must change....

    http://www.statesman.com/search/cont...akes_edit.html
    Thanks Spacenurse!
    I'm going to Austin for Nurse Day March 5-6th. Others in Texas who are interested can go to:
    http://www.texasnurses.org/buy/events.htm

    The part that I found most interesting (and Lizz if you are still following this thread, you would find interesting as well) is:

    "The minimum nurse-to-patient ratios is modeled on groundbreaking legislation passed in California in 1999 where staffing ratios have improved patient safety conditions in hospitals, and as a side benefit helped to mitigate the severe nursing shortage. Attracting RNs back into nursing and keeping today?s RNs at the bedside is an important part of solving the shortage.
    The only way to do that is to ensure that they will only have to care for a safe number of patients. Since California established its nurse-to-patient laws, the quality of care has gone up and nurses from around the country have flocked to work in their hospitals-many of them from Texas".
  3. by   purplemania
    Sure would be nice if nurses would read their nurse practice act before making remarks to the press. Texas already has a whistle-blower act. Texas already has a patient:nurse ratio. Texas already has a Safe Harbor Act. Texas was the first to have a bill requiring hospitals to have lifting equipment and other back-saving devices. Texas has Ready Texas Nurses - a contact list of nurses all over the state to call in emergency. This was initiated during Hurricane Rita and more than 3,000 nurses responded. Texans don't like unions, however. BTW, the annual Nurses on Capitol Hill is an invite from Congress for us to meet legislators.
  4. by   Nancyebg
    have to agree with Purplemania.

    Also have to admit being bemused at the posts from california and washington based nurses opining on Texas issues.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from purplemania
    Sure would be nice if nurses would read their nurse practice act before making remarks to the press. Texas already has a whistle-blower act. Texas already has a patient:nurse ratio. Texas already has a Safe Harbor Act. Texas was the first to have a bill requiring hospitals to have lifting equipment and other back-saving devices. Texas has Ready Texas Nurses - a contact list of nurses all over the state to call in emergency. This was initiated during Hurricane Rita and more than 3,000 nurses responded. Texans don't like unions, however. BTW, the annual Nurses on Capitol Hill is an invite from Congress for us to meet legislators.
    What is the Texas nurse to patient ratio? Is it in the Nurse Practice Act? I can't find any ratios here: http://www.bne.state.tx.us/nursinglaw/npacontents.html

    Is it a law or regulation?
    Is there a link?
    What is the whistleblower protection for a nurse who reports his or her hospital for unsafe staffing?

    I think Texas set an wonderful example in hurricane response. Thank you all nurses who responded!

    RN34TX posted a link to the Nurses Day at the Capitol: http://www.texasnurses.org/buy/events.htm

    Here is another article:
    In the midst of a nursing shortage that most expect to see worsen as the U.S. population ages, a bill has been introduced in the Texas Legislature to beef up the ratio of registered nurses to hospital patients.

    The Texas Hospital Patient Protection Act will be introduced this afternoon by El Paso Republican Pat Haggerty and Houston Democrat Garnet Coleman....

    ...The proposed legislation also seeks to have protections for RNs who stand up to doctors, supervisors or hospital administrators on behalf of the patient. In addition, it would strengthen whistleblower protections....

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/business....211f845f.html
  6. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Nancyebg
    Also have to admit being bemused at the posts from california and washington based nurses opining on Texas issues.
    Actually, I've seen quite a few Texas nurses opine on California issues ... yourself included. There's been more than one occassion where they've claimed that the California ratio law isn't working, that it's forcing hospital closures, that you have to work without CNA's etc. ...

    Yet, I don't remember them mentioning if they've actually been out to California where they'd see first hand that these claims aren't true in many cases.

    This thread is about a proposed ratio law for Texas and we were just describing how the law worked in California. Some nurses may find that info useful but, if others don't ... that's fine.

    :typing
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
  8. by   PMHNP10
    wow...I couldn't read it all because of the underlining, but the one thing that sparked my attention was the provision of recourse for a nurse if he/she tries to protect her license by refusing an unsafe assignment and the hospital punishes her (and by putting in the term descrimination, that can mean the nurse can perceive the punishment, so making a nurses' life hell would be covered if one can prove it i.e., if the a court would use the same standard of hostile work environment they use for sexual harassment). Also, it looks like this law is attempting to put in some backbone by making moderate fines for violations; I believe that's where the CA law lacks because the CHA/AHA managed to lobby those bills right out of Congress. If this passes as is, it'll shock the hell outta me, but God bless the abused hospital nurses if it does. And maybe the fact that a Dem and Rep are supporting this bill can make the issue less about political alignment and more about the issues at hand.
    Last edit by PMHNP10 on Feb 22, '07
  9. by   RN34TX
    Quote from purplemania
    Texas already has a patient:nurse ratio.
    Texas has no such thing.
    And if it does, then it must be 8 patients per RN for med/surg and 3:1 for ICU because that is common practice at many Texas hospitals. Those are hardly safe ratios by anyone's standards outside of budget-conscious hospital administrators.

    The Texas Board of Nurse Examiners can post one of their many wisdom filled "Position Statements" all they want.
    "In the opinion of the Board......" means very little.

    This is very different than having actual laws/regulations in place that hospitals have no choice but to follow vs. hospitals having the choice of whether or not to elect to follow the Board's "opinion" on a particular matter.

    Interestingly enough, TNA is not in support of this bill at the current time:
    http://www.texasnurses.org/nursingis...7_version4.htm
    Last edit by RN34TX on Feb 25, '07 : Reason: typo
  10. by   PMHNP10
    Quote from RN34TX
    Interestingly enough, TNA is not in support of this bill at the current time:
    http://www.texasnurses.org/nursingis...7_version4.htm
    Interesting, indeed. But I wonder...do they support any of the bill...specifically, do they even support the ratios? From the first paragraph, it appears they don't, but perhaps I'm reading too much into it. Surely they support the ratios???

    Also from the TNA site:

    "While hospitals are the largest employers of registered nurses in the state, approximately 40% of the nearly 150,000 licensed RNs work in care settings other than a hospital, for instance, long-term care, education, public health, home health and advanced practice nursing. 'The bill,' pointed out Jordan, 'would create an environment where all registered nurses are not afforded the same rights and protections when advocating for the safety of their patients. This just goes against ethical standards of the profession.'"

    Again, I couldn't read the entire bill because the underlining was driving me nuts, but assuming the TNA is correct in their interpretation, I'd think this would be a simple thing to correct to include these other nursing specialties.
  11. by   RN34TX
    Quote from psychrn03
    Interesting, indeed. But I wonder...do they support any of the bill...specifically, do they even support the ratios? From the first paragraph, it appears they don't, but perhaps I'm reading too much into it. Surely they support the ratios???
    I wondered the same thing myself.
    I see their point in that it only protects some nurses but not others. I too would not want to see all of the effort going only towards acute care hospital nurses while nurses in other areas such as LTC get thrown to the wolves with no staffing ratios whatsoever.

    But at the same time I was thinking that it's at least a start and a step in the right direction and that downing the entire bill over details that could be ironed out would be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
  12. by   mdfog10
    I have met Nurses from Texas who support this legislation 100%. They are tired of not having a voice and fearing for the loss of a job.
  13. by   NURSE NEEDLES
    I Work In A Texas Hospital As A Floor Nurse. I Work On A 36 Bed Med-surg Unit. On Days The Ratio Is 5-6 Patients (the Norm Is 6) On Days With 3 Techs. We Are Always Full. On Mondays And Fridays As Soon As You Discharge Someone You Are Getting An Admission.

    I Used To Work Nights On This Unit. The Norm Is 6-7 Patients. They Are Supposed To Have 2 Techs On Nights But The Majority Of The Time A Tech Gets Floated To Another Floor. It Is Hard To Keep Techs Because Of This. Which I Can't Blame Them For Quiting. I Have Worked At One Other Hospital And With This Hospital It Comes Down To $$$$$$.

    I Don't Know If It's Nation Wide But In Texas They Are Doing A Nurse Friendly Environment Survey. All Of The Nurses Are Encouraged To Take This Survey. The Survey Is About Pay, Support From Upper Management, If You Have All The Supplies You Need, Things Like That. This Survey Is Going To Go To The Bne And If The Hospital Isn't A Nurse Friendly Environment The Hospital Has To Answer To The Board And Make Changes As Needed To Make It A Nurse Friendly Environment.

    As Far As Nurse Patient Ratio I Don't Know What's Going On With That. Recently There Was A Patition To Sign To Change Nurse Patient Ration

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