Published Sep 22, 1999
For the health and safety of patients and the preservation of Nursing as a profession please vote against these proposed Bills H.R. 441,414 and S. 455
I offer this brief statement.
I started my Nursing career in 1982 and have witnessed the changes first hand, that have occurred in Nursing.
Nursing professionals are the last barrier the health care industry has to over come, to completely control the health care industry.
"Bed side" care givers serve as the only patient advocates left in the hospital setting by virtue of existing state laws and codes of conduct set up by the licensing agencies.
Hospitals have created the Nursing shortage in the name of profit.
These Bills provide additional means for abuses to continue and will allow hospitals to increase their profits at the expense of patients.
I will mention a few of the problems that have caused the Nursing shortage:
1. Nurses do not have the luxury of a 40 HR work week, nurses across this country are sent home in the middle of work shifts when the hospital census drops and they never know from week to week what their take home pay will be.
2. Many Nurses have not seen a pay raise for years and benefits have eroded to the point where many nurses no longer can afford to carry health care insurance to protect their families.
3. The patient care ratios are at dangerous levels and have caused harm to the patients. Nurses are assigned to provide direct care to as many as 10-20 patients at a time with little to no ancillary support staff.
4. Nurses are being made to take responsibility for non-licensed staff and at the same time risk their own license in the process. This are just a few development in Nursing that has led to a Nursing shortage.
5. The salary is such that many Nurses are now working two jobs to support their families.
These are only a few issues that have caused the Nursing shortage.
A Vote in favor of these Bills will only endorse the activities of the health care industry that has led to destruction of the Nursing profession.
The government has no business in bailing out Hospitals by providing them with foreign Nurses to alleviate the current shortage.
A NO vote on the Bills will be a Yes vote for patient safety and a better work environment for Nurses.
I would encourage all Nurses to read this bill and let your local leaders now how you feel.
Don't other Nurses understand what is going on? The erosion of nursing has been going on so long now! Nurses, quit playing "Florence Nightingale" and wake up!!!
Every year that nursing does not see a pay raise is another year that nursing weakens. Why do patients have better health insurance than the nurses who take care of them? Nursing is more than a calling, it is a demanding profession that deserves respect- why do so many nurses feel that it is a "calling" or a "vocation". How many of those that feel this way will be around when this "vocation/calling" pays less than $10.00/hour??? or worse?
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