Massachusetts Nurses have something special: Union representation. Currently the MA Nurses Association’s union is fighting to pass legislation that will forces hospitals in the Bay State to lessen the nurse:patient ratio — and is facing fierce opposition by hospital CEO’s and administrators.
In just 5 months the Affordable Care Act (ACA) kicks in, and along with it, a tsunami of newly insured patients. Those individuals fortunate enough to finally have health insurance have been putting off primary and secondary care for years; they are not a healthy cohort. This means that all levels of healthcare will become flooded with new patients, leaving health care facilities scrambling to provide adequate staffing.
The Massachusetts ballot question generally asks for stricter limits but makes exceptions for patients’ conditions. For example, the limit in ICUs would be one patient to a nurse, but a nurse may accept a second patient if the nurse determines both patients are stable. The limit in emergency rooms would be between one and four patients, depending on the patients’ conditions, while on medical and surgical floors, the maximum would be four. — Liz Kowalczyk, Boston Globe
Nurses — we have the power to force change. When our ranks are organized, great things can be accomplished. Don’t ever doubt the power that unionization provides.