Letters

No on 1 campaign engaging in fearmongering

Daily Hampshire Gazette: A lot of misinformation is being circulated by the No on 1 campaign. Ive been a hospital bedside RN for more than 30 years. Nearly all bedside RNs I know support Question One. We know that we, and you, are being lied to.

The No on 1 campaign would like you to believe we RNs need the flexibility to staff our units by acuity, not numbers. But we already staff by numbers. My hospital already uses a rigid numerical matrix to determine nurse staffing and it is NOT based on patient acuity (severity of illness).

Question 1 would simply decrease that number from the six or seven patients I currently carry on an acute cardiac unit to four. You also need not worry about protecting nurse autonomy to make decisions about staffing (another catchphrase I hear from the No on 1 folks), because hospital bedside nurses have no power to determine staffing. In other words, No on 1 does not represent hospital bedside nurses or our patients. It represents the interests of hospital management, and hospital management does not want to yield an ounce of decision-making power to the RNs without whom hospitals would not exist.

You, the public, are being asked in TV ads if you want your loved one to be that patient in the ER who wont be cared for if Question 1 passes. That is fearmongering and speculation. Ill ask you, instead, if you want your loved one to be the eighth patient assigned to a 22-year-old new graduate RN just off orientation on the night shift, on an acute cardiac unit. Because that is NOT speculation. It happens every day, every night, in every hospital. Support the safety of your loved ones. Support bedside nurses. Vote YES on Question 1.

Mary Burns

Florence

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