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Are nurses in CA glad they have a safe staffing law?

California   (1,610 Views 14 Comments)
by RN94 RN94 (Member)

1 Like; 1,831 Visitors; 27 Posts

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I live in MA and we are about to vote whether to pass a safe staffing law. Nurses are so divided. The vote "no" people have been saying it didn't work in CA. I just wondered if that's true? Can anyone give me some feedback? Thank you.

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2 Likes; 1,837 Visitors; 152 Posts

Just to be clear, I am not yet an RN, but I work closely with nurses on the floor in a Bay Area hospital with a very strong union. I see daily the benefits of safe staffing. I also see daily that the hospital tries to undermine ratios and that the nurses have to fall back on the union to maintain their ratios. So without a ratio law and without a union (or a weak union), these nurses, who care very much about their patients would not be able to maintain safety. The hospital will do anything to have fewer nurses, even if it means unsafe conditions for patients. The amount of greed, even at "non-profit" hospital systems is astounding.

I have never met a CA nurse who says the safe staffing law isn't working here. That's absurd.

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Rebekulous has 5 years experience.

3 Likes; 1,565 Visitors; 55 Posts

I moved to California from Utah (with no mandated ratios). So far, I'm loving how this is set up. I never have to worry about getting more than the 4 oncology/tele patients I'm supposed to have.

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25 Likes; 51,959 Visitors; 1,542 Posts

I moved to California from Utah (with no mandated ratios). So far, I'm loving how this is set up. I never have to worry about getting more than the 4 oncology/tele patients I'm supposed to have.

How are you liking the switch to CA? I worked as a nurse in Utah for awhile. Healthcare there was great but the pay was so low.

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Rebekulous has 5 years experience.

3 Likes; 1,565 Visitors; 55 Posts

I'm loving the switch, but I'm also still in the "honeymoon" period, because it's only been a couple of months. Ask me again in a year ;)

Utah was not as bad as some of the other places I've read about here, but I can tell the difference in California for sure. Getting a full lunch break -- without having to answer a phone, and having a Resource Nurse to help me out are the top two things I've noticed since the move.

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NickiLaughs has 8 years experience and works as a RN, ER-Trauma/Critical Care.

2 Likes; 33,794 Visitors; 2,342 Posts

It honestly depends on where you work. I've worked at hospitals that were good about following the law and ones with no or weak union that would break the law. I imagine it's like every other state. Depends on how good your employer is. I'm very lucky though. I work at a hospital that provides safe staffing and a good amount of ancillary staff. They aren't perfect but I don't go home not able to sleep because I'm worried I missed something

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Meriwhen is a ASN, BSN, RN and works as a Psychiatric sheep...er, nurse.

39 Likes; 2 Followers; 2 Articles; 58,871 Visitors; 7,837 Posts

Honestly, yes. These laws are definitely working for both patients and staff. Patients benefit because they get nurses that aren't stretched too thin. Nurses benefit because they're not getting overworked and burned out.

I started my nursing career outside of CA. I've been the only nurse for up to 16 psych patients with only one tech to help me.

I remember the first time I worked on the inpatient floor here in CA. It was psych ICU. The charge nurse gave me three patients and was apologizing because I might have to take a fourth. It was all I could do to keep a straight face and not fall down in a fit of hysterical laughter.

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HalfBoiled has 1 years experience.

3 Likes; 2,332 Visitors; 185 Posts

Definitely works! My original MedSurg unit became specialized in Oncology. We switched from 1:5 to 1:4. That allows more time to research any new patient's history. I get to be more hands on and less time at a computer.

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NICUismylife is a ADN, BSN, RN and works as a NICU RN.

19 Likes; 6,469 Visitors; 552 Posts

I've worked in CA and the mandated ratios were amazing. They even had a "break nurse" that actually took over my patient care while I took uninterrupted breaks. I never felt overwhelmed or stretched too thin.

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ProgressiveThinking has 7 years experience and works as a SRNA.

10 Likes; 12,441 Visitors; 353 Posts

How can anybody state that a nurse having less patients is even a remotely bad idea? Having less patients means you have more time to actually TAKE GOOD CARE of your patients and stay safe. The only people who probably oppose safe staffing laws are those in administration.

With that being said, if I never went to CRNA school I would NEVER EVER be a nurse in a state without safe nurse to patient ratios.

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OUxPhys has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a cardiac stepdown/progressive care.

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Does anyone know if the VA hospitals in CA use the ratio rule?

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ProgressiveThinking has 7 years experience and works as a SRNA.

10 Likes; 12,441 Visitors; 353 Posts

They do.

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