Monday, March 25, 2013

Safe staffing saves lives

We all have had days where staffing was so poor that we feared for our license and our patients safety.  Nothing burns health care workers out faster and drives them out of their occupation than this.  Worse than that, is when it becomes a chronic problem, as it sometimes does.
In Connecticut, we have legislation that says each hospital should have a safe staffing committee to monitor this.  That's how important it is.  The people of Connecticut have made it law.
This committee needs to be at least 50 % RNs working at the bedside, so that the people at the bedside, the ones who know safe and unsafe, have a voice. 
This year, we have introduced a bill that would make reporting by these committees an automatic occurrence.  On a regular basis the hospitals would need to post on a public website, what the ratio of staff to patients has been.  This is information that is readily available and posting it is in the public interest. 
This bill is not without opposition.
Some claim it would cause an undue burden on hospitals.
Reporting of safe staffing should not be considered a burden, it should be considered a responsibility.
As health care professionals we entered the field to advocate for our patients, and we do that at the bedside and at the statehouse.
I urge you to write you legislators supporting this bill and also to check out the web page below that contains links to more information.

Contact legislators on Bill No. 968

Safe staffing website