Impacts of Question #1
As an organization, Sturdy Memorial Hospital is opposed to nurse staffing ratios. Below are published Columns and Letters to the Editors found in local newspapers that were written by employees who felt compelled to share their concerns about Question #1 with the public.
"We cannot treat our patients as numbers."
Wouldn’t it be great to have the absolute right staffing every time we went to work? This is what we as nurse managers strive for every single day. Those pushing for mandated nurse staffing ratios propose that the ratios will ensure the right staffing every day. This isn’t true. The “right” staffing isn’t a ratio. The right staffing requires flexibility at any given time during a shift. The right staffing for nurses requires the ability to assess skill sets, scope of practice and the needs of each individual patient.
I am an Emergency Physician Voting No
The fallacy of “a nurse is a nurse is a nurse” is inaccurate and leads to bad care. They may share an RN degree, but nurses develop different skills depending on where they work, just as doctors do. Emergency care, labor and delivery, and critical care nursing are entirely different fields. Inexperienced nurses are more likely to make errors, so if you flood the hospitals with nurses without proper clinical experience in a short amount of time, healthcare will deteriorate.
Preserve Mental Health and Community Hospitals
I have been a nurse for decades and I am very concerned by the potential effects of Question 1 on the ER, mental health care, and community hospitals.
We already struggle with mental healthcare. Question 1 would divert nurses from treatment centers into solely hospital care, which is not a viable substitute for chronic care needs. The mental health system is not the easiest to navigate, nor is substance abuse recovery, and this mandate would only worsen obstacles to care.