hen Cathy Caruso went back to nursing in 2001 after a 10-year hiatus spent raising her kids, it was clear to her things had changed for the worse.
As a nurse at MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, Caruso said, she routinely had to care for seven patients at a time, a level many nurses consider unsafe. Caruso resigned within a year to take a lower-paying job as an elementary school health teacher.
"If one person had a bad day or a bad turn, and required my attention, that meant six patients weren't getting my attention," she said. "(I was) very concerned for what wasn't being done for the rest of my patients."
That's why Caruso and many others want the state to require what they call safe nurse-to-patient ratios. The Massachusetts Nurses Association argues hospitals are understaffed, increasing the risk of patient complications and deaths.
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