new staffing laws in mass? CA nurses

  1. So MASS is voting in Nov for new staffing laws. I know CA did these a few years back. Any CA nurses on here-Did you lose your aids, unit secretaries and EKG techs etc....?
    Conflicted about this
  2. Visit lorie101 profile page

    About lorie101

    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 60; Likes: 1

    24 Comments

  3. by   LibraNurse27
    I work in Cali. I previously worked in Arkansas and I LOVE the legalized ratios in Cali. When I worked Med Surg we had aids and a unit secretary. In ICU/Stepdown we don't have aids but we still have a unit secretary and stepdown is strictly 3:1, ICU 2:1 or 1:1. Good luck!
  4. by   NewEnglandRN16
    In the MA law it specifically states they cannot reduce ancillary staff.
  5. by   KelRN215
    Quote from NewEnglandRN16
    In the MA law it specifically states they cannot reduce ancillary staff.
    Yes, was going to reply this to the OP but I see someone beat me to it.

    Many of the people I went to college with have posted being vehemently against the law- they all work for MGH and I suspect MGH is using some sort of scare tactic to make them think it's a bad thing. I really don't imagine it will change much of anything at the Boston hospitals, all of which probably already have the ratios that the law mandates or better. So I don't really buy the argument that the law "takes away from the judgment of nurses." If you think the patient is too acute and demands a 2:1 patient:nurse ratio you can still do that, you just can't give nurses more than the maximum ratio.

    I also don't really think the argument that "patients won't be able to be admitted to the floor because there won't be enough nurses for them" holds water. I've seen this argument used specifically for community hospitals, saying they would have to transfer critical patients to Boston or Worcester because they couldn't meet the ratio. If it's a critical patient, do you really want him on a floor in a community hospital that can't take care of him? Plus we already have a law about ICU ratios.

    Massachusetts has enough nurses to meet the increased staffing needs of the community hospitals.
  6. by   MHDNURSE
    I'm in MA and I can't see how making sure that nurses are practicing with SAFE nurse to patient ratios is a bad thing. The hospitals are using scare tactics because they do not want to pay to hire more nurses- more $$ for them to spend.
  7. by   Katillac
    According to this piece, the threatened program closures and increased wait times didn't materialize in California. Patient outcomes didn't measurably improve - possibly because unlike the Massachusetts law the California law allowed the hospitals to cut back on ancillary staff. However nurse outcomes did get better; satisfaction and pay improved and burnout and injury decreased. Seven Questions About The 218 Nurse Staffing Ballot Question In Massachusetts.
  8. by   lorie101
    yes, but I do think once an aid or secretary quits they will not rehire.
  9. by   lorie101
    I am also a nurse in MA and I am leaning towards voting NO. MA cannot divert like CA can, I just cannot see how this will work and they are only giving MA hospitals weeks if law passes to make it work, I believe CA had a few years.
  10. by   lorie101
    I have seen half yes half no on all my nurse friends. Tough law, too much uncertainty on both sides
  11. by   Nurse Beth
    I'm in California and worked both before and after ratios. On the Tele unit in my hospital, the nurse-patient ratio is 1:4. We have a charge nurse who does not take patients, a throughput nurse, CNAs and a unit based Pharmacist. Phlebotomists draw blood, Resp Therapists give treatments, and lab techs take ECGs. We have 2 unit secretaries and 2 monitor techs. It's a 44 bed unit.
  12. by   Sour Lemon
    My hospital staffs well. Once in a while we have no CNA, but it's the exception and not the rule. RT does our EKGs and our free charge nurse usually answers phone calls and call lights. It's great, because the charge usually knows where everyone is, can direct staff accordingly, and can take MD orders. This results in minimal interruption for nurses on the floor.
    My unit is small, with usually less than 15 patients, although I believe there's room for a few more than that.
  13. by   NewEnglandRN16
    Quote from lorie101
    yes, but I do think once an aid or secretary quits they will not rehire.
    I've heard this argument in naysayers. But I cannot seem to find evidence that this true.
  14. by   xcontra57
    I am an RN in California and we have unit secretary, phlebotomists, CNAs AND lift team personnel. Working with the ratios is great. It provides a safer environment for patients and helps retain seasoned nurses.

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