Safe harbor

Specialties MICU


I was wondering if any of you might remember an article that was in NursesWeekly regarding the nurse patient rations, most specifically in the intensive care environments. The article was about a type of legislation called "Safe Harbor", giving nurses a shield to fall under in the event the rations are totally out of proportion such as trying to staff the ratio of 4:1 in an ICU environment.

The discussion was about how the unit can not refuse to take patients because of "no staff", stating that once administration had been notified of "No staff, or inadequate staffing", that once the patient has been accepted, the nursing unit can fall under the sheild or unbrella of safe harbor.

Does anyone remember this article, and if so, do you know where I can obtain the aricle again.

Originally it was in NursesWeek, sometimes in 1999-2000.

Jenny P

1,164 Posts

Specializes in CV-ICU.

Since I'm not familiar with this magazine or journal, and no one else has answered your inquiory, I'd suggest you go to the editors or their yearly article lists and try looking up the info that way. I have never heard of a legislation such as that either, and am not sure how it could work.I I think if the unit took more patients after informing the supervisor that they had no staff; both the unit charge nurse and the supervisor would be liable for what would happen to the patient. When you don't have the staff to care for the patients you already have, how can you accept another patient?

Thanks Jenny for your reply. I have since researched the topic, and yes, there is a "Safe Harbor" provision in the Texas Nurse Practice Act.

Under Section 301.352 and Section 303.005, Texas Occupations Code. Safe Harbor, Request for Peer Review.

There is also an article in Texas Nursing, article 4525d, Safe Harbor-Request for Peer Review, Vehicles to Dialog. that tells in detail the aspects of falling under safe harbor if you feel that patient safety has been compromised.

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