Safe staffing ratios essential for patients

It is once again Nurses Week, where organizations recognize the accomplishments and hard work that nurses do all year long, and rightly so.

However, once again we nurses recognize the need for safe staffing ratios so that all patients in health care facilities across the state have an adequate number of staff to safely care for them. It must be mandated by law or health facilities will never do the right thing and staff safely.

We have been fighting for the past 12 years to get a bill passed, and each and every year either the State Senate or the Assembly fails to pass it. The Hospital Association fights us and claims it’s too expensive and spends millions lobbying against any type of ratios. This is despite the fact that many studies prove that hospitalized patients have better outcomes and a lower risk of death when there is an adequate number of staff to care for them. California has been successful in passing this legislation.

So do you truly want to make Nurses Week a happy occasion? Call your state legislators and tell them to pass the Safe Staffing Bill once and for all. Help us end our crushing workloads, save more lives and make health care better for our patients.

Diana J. Butsch M.S.N., R.N.

West Falls