NNU National Call-In Day! Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Action item – Place a phone call to your member of Congress!:
Call your U.S. representative in his or her Washington, DC, office and use 1-2 of the talking points below to ask your member to co-sponsor this critical piece of legislation. If you do not know who your Congressperson is, go to www.capwiz.com/massnurses.
Michael Capuano - 202.225.5111
William Delahunt - 202.225.3111
James McGovern - 202.225.6101
John Tierney - 202.225.8020
Niki Tsongas - 202.225.3411
John Olver - 202.225.5335
Richard Neal - 202.225.5601
Stephen Lynch - 202.225.8273
Edward Markey - 202.225.2836
Barney Frank - 202.225.5931
Thousands of nurses like you will from all over the country will be calling in on the same day. A labor or health staff member will likely take your call, and then you can share your own experiences along with you expectation that your Congressional member sign on to the bill as an official co-sponsor.
Here’s what to say! After talking point #1, pick 1-2 other talking points to emphasize:
- Hi. My name is ____________ and I live in ______________. I am a registered nurse and I work at __________. I am calling to ask Rep. ____________ to cosponsor safe patient handling legislation, HR2381, sponsored by Conyers and Woolsey).
- As a bedside nurse, I have to lift heavy patients every day, who can weight between 200 and 400 lbs. I’ve heard the average staff nurse lifts 1.8 tons of people every single day. However, OSHA says the most a woman should lift is 45 lbs, and the most a man should lift is 50 lbs. I’m lifting more than a Teamster!
- I, and/or most of my coworkers, live with back pain. There’s not much you can do about it. 50% of nurses have back pain, but it’s hard to get reassigned to a non-lifting job. 12% of nurses surveyed say they are thinking about leaving because of back pain. We understand Congress is quite concerned about the nursing shortage. So are we! While spending money training nurses is very important to us, this is a step Congress can take to keep those nurses at work.
- The good news is that there is a pretty easy way to get around having to physically lift people. Many hospitals, including the entire VA, have been implementing zero-lift policies and purchasing lift equipment. While studies vary, the most conservative estimate is that hospitals recoup the cost of implementing a zero-lift policy in two to three years, in preventing expensive injuries, lost time, overtime, and retraining of lost nurses.
- This legislation simply says that hospitals should put in place safe lifting or zero lift policies.
- This is good for nurses like me, but as a patient advocate it’s also important to me that it is better for patients, who don’t have to deal with the embarrassment and discomfort of a team of people manually handling them, and the injuries that inevitably result from manual lifting. In Minnesota, a safe lifting statute was passed in cooperation between the nurses and the state disability counsel.
- Thanks for your time, and I will follow up to be sure that you’ve signed on to this critical legislation.
You are a nurse and a constituent. Your voice matters and your vote counts!