Safe Patient Limits

Safe Patient Limits: Why They Are Needed in Massachusetts Hospitals

A Nurse’s Professional Responsibility

When you or a loved one are hospitalized, the person most responsible for your care and safety is your registered nurse. At your most vulnerable time, your assigned registered nurse cares for you and keeps you safe while managing your return to health — administering medications, monitoring your vital signs, etc.

Rationing Your Nursing Care

But did you know, outside of intensive care units, there is no law that specifies how many patients a nurse can safely care for at one time in all other patient care areas? In fact, nurses are forced by hospital administrators to care for six to eight patients, or more, at a time. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that is double the number that is safe for you, the patient.

The Hospital Industry

Hospitals are no longer the charitable community organizations they once were. Most hospitals have been merged into massive corporate networks, with the focus on profit, not you the patient. In fact, Massachusetts hospitals rank near the bottom nationally for many indicators of patient safety and quality. Your safety is being put at risk.

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Related Legislative Agenda

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