OHIO BILL TO SAFEGUARD NURSES FROM COMPULSORY OVERTIME AND TO UPHOLD PATIENT SAFETY
Over the years, the nursing occupation has becoming more stressful and increasingly toxic when it comes to health security, entailed with critical staffing issues due to the nursing shortage.
In Ohio, a measure is now being considered by the state Legislature to prohibit hospitals in Ohio from penalizing or dismissing nurses from their job positions who refuse overtime.
This bill will help protect nurses from fatigue and burnout and eventually protect their patients as well.
If deemed approved, Ohio would become the 19th state to disallow hospitals from necessitating nurses to work overtime.
The Ohio House approved the measure earlier this month and the Senate is expected to take up the bill in the forthcoming weeks.
"Too many nurses are suffering from overwork and burnout," the bill's primary sponsor, Rep. Robert Sprague said in a statement after House passage on June 7. "When an exhausted nurse is forced to work unplanned, additional shifts, it puts patients at risk."
The bill is supported by the Ohio Nurses Association, which represents around 215,000 nurses in the state.
Sprague, a Republican from Findlay, did not respond to messages seeking comment, stated in an article.
Association President Brian Burger said he expects the Senate to approve the bill if the Ohio Hospital Association, which initially opposed it, continues to take a neutral stand on the legislation. Changes were made to the bill's language during negotiations between the two groups.
"They were concerned about not being able to staff a hospital," Burger told The Associated Press. "That's what we want, too, but not with nurses over-fatigued from working mandatory overtime."
Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Children's Hospital Association and the Ohio Organization of Nurse Executives said in a letter sent to Sprague in February that the nurses association's concerns "are not supported by any data to suggest a real problem exists regarding mandatory nurse overtime." The groups said they weren't well informed about any hospitals threatening to fire nurses who refused overtime.
Ohio Hospital Association spokesman John Palmer said the group will work with the Senate on how overtime is defined. He said staffing is a complicated issue for hospitals.
"We're going to continue to focus on education and building awareness around the flexibility hospitals need on staffing and working with nurses and health care workers," Palmer said.
While the House bill prohibits mandatory overtime, it does allow hospitals to schedule overtime during health care disasters, government emergency declarations by circumstances that lead to a large influx of patients.
Erudite Nursing Institute™, supports the advocacies surrounding the rights of the nurses regarding overtime policies, concerning the state of patient safety under their care as well.
The institute aims to revolutionize the nursing curriculum by providing innovative nursing educational programs via fast track nursing to effectively educate nurses not just in their practice but also exercising their rights as an employee.
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