Saving Lives Isn’t a Card Game
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Posted by: Kanaka Sathasivan
We stand with our nurse brothers and sisters in Washington state and around the country in our opposition to Sen. Maureen Walsh’s callous statements (statement starts around 9:40) about nurses “playing cards.”
Nurses often work 12-hour shifts on their feet with little time to eat or use the restroom. In many states, they can then be required to work overtime. Many nurses struggle to find time for breaks.
In Texas, the Texas Nurses Association collaborated with the Texas Hospital Association and Texas Organization of Nurse Executives to pass legislation in 2009 restricting mandatory overtime for nurses.
In Washington, nurses are coming together to pass a bill to secure uninterrupted rest breaks and address a loophole in mandatory overtime prohibition. Show your support by signing their petition today.
Nurse fatigue is a common concern in all areas and leads to burnout and high rates of attrition from the profession. The Texas Department of State Health Services Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies predicts that Texas will be 60,000 nurses short of demand by 2030. The challenging work environment nurses experience contributes to this shortage.
Several studies show that fatigued nurses have a reduced ability to delivery optimal patient care and an increased risk of making patient care errors. And working extended hours can affect nurses’ health with increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries, sleep disturbances, mood disorders and more.
The quality of the care environment is critical to safe patient care, and TNA has an established track record of advocating for safe workplaces. This legislative session, TNA is leading the charge to reduce workplace violence and make safe harbor peer review more accessible with two bills:
- HB 1146 – Workplace Violence Prevention – would protect all healthcare workers, not just nurses – passed out of committee last week and is supported by Texas Hospital Association
- HB 2410 – Verbal Safe Harbor – up for hearing in Public Health on Wednesday this week
Texas is already a leader in workplace protections, passing the first safe harbor law in the nation due specifically to TNA’s active involvement and advocacy at the Texas Capitol.
Ways to help TNA continue to protect nurses:
- Use our Nurse Action Center to write your representatives or call to voice support or opposition.
- Follow us on Twitter for legislative updates, and tweet your support or opposition at TNA with examples from your practice.
- Join the new Capitol Corps to be a liaison between the Government Affairs Committee and your lawmakers.
- Consider running for office; start with TNA’s Campaign Support Center.