Nurse Beth and Keith Carlson Talk About Staffing Ratios & NursesTakeDC

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    NursesTakeDC - What is it and what does it have to do with me? That is the question many nurses are asking. Nurse Beth and Keith Carlson talk about this in their first of a series of Facebook Live Events.

    Nurse Beth and Keith Carlson Talk About Staffing Ratios & NursesTakeDC

    Nurses from around the country are interested in finding out what the NursesTakeDC rally is all about. Beth Hawkes and Keith Carlson are teaming up with allnurse.com to help educate, encourage and empower nurse to take action. This is the first in a series of videos about the issues behind the NursesTakeDC movement from Facebook Live events with Beth and Keith.

    In this video, Beth and Keith talk about the negative effects of unsafe staffing ratios, legislation that has been introduced regarding mandated nurse-patient ratios, and the benefits of attending the NursesTakeDC rally.

    Some of the topics discussed in this event are:
    • What is happening in states where nurse-patient ratios are not mandated
    • California nurse-patient ratios mandated by state legislation
    • Acuity tools and why that is not effective
    • Hospital budgets drive nurse-patient ratios in most locations
    • Need for actual data to quantify the positive effects of mandated ratios
    • Arguments for and against federally legislative mandates
    • Benefits of nurses attending the NursesTakeDC rally in April


    Please add your comments below. We want to hear from you. Beth and Keith will try to answer your questions here or in an upcoming Facebook live event. There are many readers who are very knowledgeable about the issues. Hopefully, they will post here as well.

    Becoming educated is the most important thing you can do because if you understand the underlying issues you can then speak to them from your heart and your nurse's mind and use your critical thinking to make up your own mind and share your opinion about this issue.



    For part 2 of this series, go to:

    Safe Nurse Staffing FB Live Video #2 - How to Influence Your Legislators
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 14
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    7 Comments

  3. by   Mini2544
    Sounds reasonable enough. However why would Medicare be billed? Not all patients are over 65 and covered by this entitlement. What about the other patients? Medicare is supposed to absorb all this cost? Also not a single republican sponsored this. What is their pushback? Also how would the ratios be set?
  4. by   Nursetom1963
    Im a California Nurse, and I have a couple questions and comments. Who are these people organizing the rally? Have they studied the effects this is having in Ca? Not good necessarily in my hospital. Pt.s sit in the ER for 24-48 hour frequently because we can't admit them because we don't have the nurses to take them. Then they come right after shift-change, and are in worse shape than ever. Same with downgrades (Im ICU) I can sit on a pt with transfer orders all shift because we have no one with an open bed to take them; it's not all as good as it sounds. We're so desperate for nurses, I get texted almost every day off to come in for overtime, and often double time.
  5. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from Mini2544
    Sounds reasonable enough. However why would Medicare be billed? Not all patients are over 65 and covered by this entitlement. What about the other patients? Medicare is supposed to absorb all this cost? Also not a single republican sponsored this. What is their pushback? Also how would the ratios be set?
    Great questions, thanks

    Mandated minimum nurse-patient ratios apply to all Medicare-participating hospitals (not patients). Meaning if a hospital bills Medicare they must adhere to ratios. Basically all hospitals are Medicare-participating.

    A simple answer as to partisanship is that Republicans tend to align with business interests, such as the American Hospital Association, while Democrats tend to align with working class people. This is a generalization, of course.

    Is it possible that the AHA and the ANA contacted Republican Representative David Joyce to introduce legislation opposing mandated minimum nurse-patient ratios? I do not know. The same opposing legislation was introduced into the Senate by Democratic Senator Jeff Markley, so again, I don't know his motivation.

    The ratios can be viewed here and include 1:3 on Tele, and 1:4 on MedSurg
  6. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from Nursetom1963
    Im a California Nurse, and I have a couple questions and comments. Who are these people organizing the rally? Have they studied the effects this is having in Ca? Not good necessarily in my hospital. Pt.s sit in the ER for 24-48 hour frequently because we can't admit them because we don't have the nurses to take them. Then they come right after shift-change, and are in worse shape than ever. Same with downgrades (Im ICU) I can sit on a pt with transfer orders all shift because we have no one with an open bed to take them; it's not all as good as it sounds. We're so desperate for nurses, I get texted almost every day off to come in for overtime, and often double time.
    Thanks for sharing.

    I'm a CA nurse as well. I worked prior to ratios in ICU and Tele, and there's always been a bottleneck. Bottlenecks are not caused by ratios, they precede ratios by decades.

    Before ratios I had sometimes 9 patients on Tele. Today a tele nurse can only have 4 patients.

    In my role now I onboard new nurses to our facility. Nurses coming to my facility from Florida, and Texas and every other state love our nurse-patient ratios. I talk to nurses a lot in Orientation and I would never practice nursing in another state.

    The effects of the number of patients a nurse cares for and patient mortality are well documented in the literature. Safe staffing saves lives.

    Yes, nursing is still stressful and ratios do not solve all the problems hospitals have with retention, nor are they designed to. Ratios don't address poor management, for example. But they do address public safety.
  7. by   ibanda
    Safe Staffing: S.1063 & H.R.2392 - Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2017


    Hi Beth,

    Thank you for bringing up this topic. I am currently a nursing student to graduate in May and i am writing a policy paper on the Safe Staffing Act of 2017. I am doing both bills. As part of this paper i will like to meet with the legislator to advocate for either one or both of the bills. I have not been able to get anyone on the phone.

    I will also like to lobby in DC but it seems the lobby date is in April after i must have presented the bill to my class mates. Any suggestions on how i can advocate sooner than April 9th will be appreciated.

    Also i will like to have a fact sheet and i thought i could find one from the ANA website, but i didn't. Any suggestions as to where i can find a Fact Sheet for these Bills?

    Again, thank you
  8. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from ibanda
    Safe Staffing: S.1063 & H.R.2392 - Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2017


    Hi Beth,

    Thank you for bringing up this topic. I am currently a nursing student to graduate in May and i am writing a policy paper on the Safe Staffing Act of 2017. I am doing both bills. As part of this paper i will like to meet with the legislator to advocate for either one or both of the bills. I have not been able to get anyone on the phone.

    I will also like to lobby in DC but it seems the lobby date is in April after i must have presented the bill to my class mates. Any suggestions on how i can advocate sooner than April 9th will be appreciated.

    Also i will like to have a fact sheet and i thought i could find one from the ANA website, but i didn't. Any suggestions as to where i can find a Fact Sheet for these Bills?

    Again, thank you
    Great!! The ANA does not support S. 1063 and H.R.2392, titled Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act.

    They support opposing legislation, as does the American Hospital Association (AHA), titled Safe Staffing for Nurse and Patient Safety Act. That's tricky, right? The titles are quite similar. Just remember that the (recommended) legislation has the word Quality in the title.

    The best Talking Points I've seen are by Dr. Ruth Neese, and I think they will help you with your paper. Talking Points

    To advocate at any time, find your the phone number of your Representative and 2 Senators Find Your Number by Zip Code Call and say "My name is so-and-so, I am a nursing student and a constituent. I am calling to ask (my representative) to vote Yes on S.1063 or H.R. 2392"

    Senators vote on bills that start with an S., and Representatives vote on bills that start with H.R. Your phone call will be tallied and is important because politicians listen to their voting constituents Encourage your classmates to do the same. Best wishes.
    Last edit by Nurse Beth on Mar 17
  9. by   ibanda
    Thanks Beth, This is such a great find for me. All along i thought the ANA was in support of this bill. Further research after reading your response confirms that they are in support of part of the bill. Thank you and yes, my goal is to educate my class of over 105 students about this bill so that they can advocate for the bill

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