We keep hearing that nursing and health care are in crisis. Some of the challenges facing the nursing profession include burnout, compassion fatigue, COVID-19, staffing shortages, long hours, forced overtime and workplace violence.
On May 12, nurses from across the country will gather in Washington DC for the National Nurses March. Warren County will be represented. Our goal will be safe staffing ratios for all healthcare workers nationwide; effective federal and state protection/monitoring for violence against health care workers; and fair and realistic salaries.
I have seen a lot in the past 35 years as a registered nurse. I work at SNF/LTC, which is also known as a retirement home. Most of my career has been in an acute care hospital. I have held nursing positions and management positions.
During this pandemic, legislative measures have been taken by both the states and the federal government, aimed specifically at regulating employment agencies and limiting the remuneration of traveling nurses. There are concerns about the sustainability of health facilities. I am okay. But it’s not nursing that will make it or break it.
Studies have shown, and nurses know it, that lower patient ratios lead to safer care. Senator Brown introduced S.1567 – Hospital Patient Safety and Quality of Care Nurse Staffing Standards Act of 2021. He served on State Rep. Kathy Rapp’s committee. Rep. Rapp detailed her rationale stating that she believed it was a contractual issue between the employer and the employees. I find that interesting. Who created the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987? The 100th US Congress. OBRA has guidelines for staffing. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 improved the quality of care in nursing homes by setting federal standards for how care should be provided to residents.
Why aren’t CEOs, Congressmen, Big Pharms and insurance companies investigated and salary caps discussed? Rapp has healthcare resources as his third major donor with more than $40,000. Representative Rapp, please hear from all your constituents.
If you punch, kick or spit on a law enforcement officer, you are arrested. The nursing staff are asked how they could have handled the situation differently. e deserve respect and a safe environment in which to practice nursing. No verbal or physical abuse.
Nursing represents a voting bloc that is nearly unequal by any other profession. It is essential that nurses unite and advocate. We must represent ourselves and our patients.
Deborah Doyle Labesky, BSN, RN, is a resident of Warren.