To the editor:
I am a nurse at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro in the Balfour Unit, a med-surg telemetry unit. I am against the proposed nurse staffing ballot question because I am certain that it will degrade care for our patients and make nurses’ jobs harder to accomplish.
Nurses know what we can handle, and we use our professional judgement to work together and take care of all of the patients in our unit.
Simply having less patients does not make me a better nurse or provide better care to my patients. When higher acuity patients are assigned, my knowledge, expertise and continued education is what makes me a strong nurse. These ratios would override our professional judgement, and take away our ability to collaborate, as each one of us would have to be within our own legal limit with assigned patients.
My sister is an ER nurse, and I see the tough choices she and her colleagues make every day as patients come in with life threatening injuries and illnesses. The thought of a patient coming in and nurses not being able to immediately treat them because they are at their legal ratio scares me. Our emergency department will fill up as patients wait hours and hours to see someone.
I see every day how the opioid crisis is affecting people in our community. We should be investing in health care programs and education that matter, rather than in nurse staffing ratios that have absolutely no impact on quality of care for our patients.