As the conditions for nursing worsen and burnout and staffing crises ensue, nursing reform is becoming the elephant in the room that can no longer go ignored. From nursing protests to strikes and other moves for improvement in patient and nurse safety, we cover news about nursing reform
Nurses Picketing for a Nursing Reform in California
The nurses of National Nurses United (NNU) backed up the U.S. Senate's decision to support a price reduction for most essential pharmaceutical products under the Inflation Reduction Act, which also helps take action on climate change and reduce environmental impact.
Costs will be reduced nationwide so patients can afford medications often unaffordable due to high prices. Patients often end up harming their health by not completely taking their medicines or splitting them in half because they cannot afford to buy them. The nurses are pleased to see that the determination has been made to support these patients so that they do not have to spend what a university study found to be 40% of their income on their medication alone.
Nursa supports this critical decision, demonstrating empathy for the patients most affected by the current global crisis and the recent pandemic. Most of these patients will now have access to the medications that the nurses have been fighting for so long for their patients to afford, which brings joy to all healthcare personnel, demonstrating that nurses care for their patients sincerely.
As for the environment, the policies that will be implemented will help more people who are currently unemployed to find jobs in areas related to alternative energy, as well as seek a tax reduction to use alternative energies and electric vehicles to address the environmental problem plagues the entire world. All these policies will, directly and indirectly, affect health because by reducing pollution and creating alternative energy sources, and by reducing the excessive price of medicines, the population will be able to enjoy a better quality of life and better health in general. This is why nurses are so pleased with the determinations made by the U.S. Senate.
In other news, nurses at Saint Joseph Hospital in Eureka, California, will hold an informational picket because working conditions have become unsustainable.
In most of the hospitals in the city and specifically in this hospital, it has been seen that many experienced nurses have resigned from their positions for various reasons, the main one being that there are many unpaid wages, and the nurses have to overwork even without pay. The problem of so many nurses quitting has caused the safe staff-to-patient ratio to be far below the recommended ratio. Therefore the situation has become unsustainable for the nurses.
By having too few nurses for more patients than they can care for, nurses cannot care in the way patients require, cannot attend to patient calls promptly, and many times this can lead to patient safety being compromised. Nurses have not taken bathroom or meal breaks and have had to take several shifts in a row simply because there is not enough nursing staff. It can also happen that nurses end up doing work beneath them when nursing assistants are absent or quit.
The fact that many new nurses are being hired doesn't help much since the experienced nurses were training these new nurses.
In addition, at this time, unpaid salaries or payroll errors are taking a significant toll on the nurses. They need to do something about it to continue working at the hospital.
What are safe staffing ratios? Each assigned nurse has a certain number of patients to be seen. When this number is too high, it is no longer safe for the nurse and the patient. Suppose nurses cannot take appropriate breaks, properly care for patients, and provide the best quality of care they can. In that case, it is unsafe for them to do their job well and feel satisfied with their work, and they may become stressed, easily depressed, have problems on the job, or eventually quit. It is also not safe for the patients, who will need all the attention they can get during their time in the hospital and will expect the nurses to take care of them. In addition, their safety is affected, as an accident or emergency can occur, and not being able to get care in time can cause severe problems for patients.
This nurses' strike is a way to make a point about how the safety of nurses and patients is affected, that it needs reform and that Providence as a whole must take steps to improve the overall situation for all nurses. The informational picket will be held Thursday, Aug. 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.