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Massachusetts could set patient assignment limits for nurses

WWLP: A ballot question that would set limits for how many patients a Massachusetts nurse can care for at one time is still in the running for a spot on the 2018 ballot. Registered nurses said they’re currently being forced by hospitals to care for too many patients at once. They’re pushing for Massachusetts to set statewide patient assignment limits.

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“You should be able to get the same standard of care no matter what hospital you go to in the state,” said Karen Coughlin of the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

If the ballot question is approved by voters, nurses could only care for one patient if they are under anesthesia, in intensive care or in maternal child care with medical complications. Nurses could care for up to five patients if those patients are in non-urgent stable condition or rehabilitation.

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