Arlington Advocate: There are many fearmongers stating emergency rooms will have to divert patients, community hospitals will close and nurses will not be able to make decisions regarding safe staffing if Question 1 passes. I have read their statements of how many years they have spent in nursing but when you read the fine print their nursing career is mostly administrative and not in direct care. Their priority is in the bottom line.
I have worked as a RN for over 30 years providing direct patient care — either on an inpatient unit or an outpatient clinic. It is frequent that we are understaffed. Studies show with higher nurse to patient ratios more teaching is done to help patients maintain their health. Medicare threatens to not reimburse hospitals if a patient has revolving door admissions. Nurses work hard to make sure patients know how to take care of themselves when they get home. Nurses teach preventative care. Have you ever been a patient and wished you had more time with the nurse? The more patients the nurse has, the less time is spent with each patient. The acuity of the patients matter. Administration counts how many patients to each nurse, and they don’t care how acute the patient is. The higher the patient to staff ratio is, the more money the hospital makes. Don’t be fooled when administration denies that. These patients might be yourself or someone you love.
Administrators are the people making the big bucks not the nurses. Why don’t they cut some of the administrators positions and have more nurses. I got the biggest laugh when I read that to hire more nurses it would cost $300,000 per nurse. REALLY? With all my years experience, I’m a highly paid nurse. Including benefits, I don’t make half that amount. Maybe that is administrations salaries but not the nurses.
What are the nurses asking for? More money? NO. Nurses are asking for safe staffing levels so we can take good care of you or your loved one. The majority of nurses on the front line will votes yes on Question 1. We want to provide safe care. Vote “Yes” on Question 1. Don’t be frightened by administrations threats. You deserve safe care.
Margaret Marks, Pleasant Street