I attended a nursing conference the last few days in San Francisco. Things that I have come to expect of an employer, any employer, such as being able to take a break every 4 hours, being able to eat a meal during an 8 to 12 to 16 hour shift, and being able to do the work assigned to me, isn't happening for many nurses. I learned of nurses in "right to work" states being assigned 12-15 patients on a medical-surgical floor. On an 8 hour shift, that only gives a nurse 45 minutes with each patient; for her assessment and reassessment of pain, to administer medications, to maintain and change IVs, to teach, to console, to heal. She doesn't have the time to attend to each person individually, nor can she engage herself with the families of these patients. Given time, education can happen with the families of those in the hospital to help prevent similar health conditions from occurring given education. If I were in hospital, I'd sure want to know that my nurse had more than 2 hours and 25 minutes allotted to me every 24 hours - ESPECIALLY when I (or my insurance company) is paying significant funds for the priviledge for being in a hospital for nursing care!
More than ever, as I learn that the average hospital CEO salary is 8 million dollars a year, do I realize that nurses have a RIGHT, as do their patients, to have nursing ratios, to have safe staffing bills, and to have adequate compensation for the work that is being done. How is it that firefighters and police officers can retire after 20 years of service with adequate compensation and health benefits, when nurses must work until government retirement age of 65-67 in order to receive garanteed pension in the name of social security and medicare?
Please consider supporting S 1031 which would provide staffing ratios for all nurses across the country. This garantees that your loved ones will have a nurse available when your family member is in the hospital; a nurse whose soul aim is to provide safe, effective, and theraputic, regardless of the aim of the insurance carrier for that patient.