Tuesday, April 20

In New York they push a law that would force an increase in the number of nurses in critical areas of hospitals


A group of nurses from New York took to the streets again, this time to honor dozens of health professionals who lost their lives after a year of pandemic, but also to demand the approval of the legislative bill “Safe staff for quality hospital care”, Which would force the incorporation of more staff to critical areas of the State health system.

This Thursday members of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) met at Greeley Square en Manhattan, to raise a slogan: “Many patients died from COVID-19 because there were not enough bedside nurses on the front line.”

The complaint of these health professionals, especially those who serve in the poorest neighborhoods, is that while the number of patients that ideally should be attended by a single nurse, would be four to five depending on the areas, but many of them must be in charge of more than six and up to eight sick at the same time.

Judith Cutchin, a NYSNA board member, explained that in public hospitals in the Big Apple, the necessary proportion of nurses is not met according to the number of patients in each area.

“None of our units, including critical care, has the appropriate number of staff, not even in close proportions, according to what the standards establish. This can be measured in lives lost. Now is the time to ensure that adequate staffing is based on a law in New York, so that all hospitals have optimal levels that save lives“, Assured the leader of NYSNA.

The New York Nurses Association groups 44,000 professionals. (Photo: Courtesy NYSNA)

“Crisis mode”

For its part, nurse Katie Paccione of the Presbyterian Medical Center of Columbia University in New York, has been caring for patients with COVID-19 since this virus spread in the city and related that on many occasions he had to be in several places at the same time in the middle of a public health crisis.

“We are called superheroes for our work during this pandemic, although we don’t feel like superheroes when we don’t have enough nurses to safely care for our patients. We have no superpowers that allow us to be in two places at the same time. When two patients need us at the same time, we do everything possible to provide quality care to both, ”reacted Paccione.

Too Judy Sheridan-González, NYSNA President, insisted that New York remains in “crisis mode” as COVID-19 patients continue to fill our hospitals.

The health professional assures that in the first line they managed to save more than 150,000 patients with complications of death.

“How many more would have survived if those in power had listened to us? What will happen in the next viral wave? We know what is needed: transparency, responsibility and a guaranteed number of nurses for all our patients ”, asked the spokeswoman for the association that represents more than 44,000 nurses.

Minimum fee by law

The legislative draft S1032 promoted by New York nurses, is on the state Senate committee and is being sponsored by Senator Gustavo Rivera.

Regulations require intensive care centers and nursing homes to implement certain direct care staff per patient ratios and minimum staffing requirements. It also requires each hospital to present a staffing plan documented.

In addition, civil penalties would be imposed for violations of the minimum staffing of nursing staff and the right of private action is established for these professionals who they could report any assignment illegal and disproportionate work.


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