ABC News reported that front line heroes are begging for safe staffing to help fight the coronavirus. Nurses on the front lines are calling for the state to enact minimum staffing standards before the second wave. Under legislation, NY would set safe minimum nurse-to-patient ratios including a standard of one nurse for every two patients in intensive care units.
California now has such a law. It has improved the quality of care. Safe staffing helps front line heroes. Safe staffing boosts the quality of care, reduces staff burnout, and holds health care facilities accountable for inadequate staffing.
“If we had better staffing in place before COVID-19, if we weren’t stretched so thin, we would have been able to handle the flex and surge that was required,” said Pat Kane, who represents nurses statewide.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised in 2018 to set safe staffing levels. Safe staffing is “linked to quality care.” Nursing homes and hospitals need to hire a 35,000 nurses at an alleged cost of $4 billion. The report repeats old industry arguments, ignores potential savings and inflates costs by over $1 billion. It should be passed. Protect residents AND the front line heroes taking care of our loved ones.