400 Nurses to Pack Statehouse to Discuss Workplace Violence, Patient Safety

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 5, 2019

CONTACT:  Molly Homan

Director of Communications and Marketing Technology

Ohio Nurses Association

614-746-9914, mhoman@ohnurses.org

 

400 Nurses to Pack Statehouse to Discuss

Workplace Violence, Patient Safety

Agenda includes Governor Mike DeWine

 

WHAT:  Nurses Day at the Statehouse

A sellout crowd of 24 sponsoring organizations and 400 nurses and nursing students will convene in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium to bring light to important policy issues, including:

  • Workplace Violence: One in four nurses are assaulted at work, healthcare workers are four times more likely to be assaulted than other industries and nurses are assaulted more than police officers and prison guards. In April 2018, the Joint Commission issued a Sentinel Event Alert for physical and verbal abuse against healthcare workers. It’s clear that nurse abuse is a nationwide epidemic. Nurses are standing up and saying that this can no longer be considered “just part of the job.”

ONA supports federal legislation H.R. 1309 which would require OSHA to develop protection measures and enforceable safety standards for healthcare and social service workers. ONA helped pass Ohio’s current workplace violence law in 2012 that makes assault against a healthcare worker a fifth-degree felony for second offenses. We believe passage of H.R. 1309, combined with the state’s current law, will help to lessen incidences of workplace violence.

Cultural changes must also occur at the workplace. Nurses should be encouraged to report incidences of workplace violence rather than dissuaded because of fear of retaliation, or because they are told violence comes with the job.

  • The Elimination of Nurse Mandatory Overtime – Last general assembly, ONA helped pass House Bill 456 – legislation aimed to combat nurse fatigue and its negative consequences on patient safety through eliminating nurse mandatory overtime – through the House. ONA will be pursuing this legislation once more in the 133rd General Assembly.

 

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., and nurses are three times more likely to make an error when working over 12.5 hours. Additionally, nurses suffer decline in memory and impaired judgment when working fatigued. Patient readmission and patient morbidity increases when nurses are unsafely staffed.

 

Though nurses know it’s unsafe to work fatigued, they are often forced to do so by employers who use mandatory overtime as a staffing band aid to fill regular scheduling gaps. House Bill 456 will allow nurses to refuse the additional hours without fear of discipline, termination or licensure sanctions. Without forced overtime, employers will have to safely staff nurses – a benefit for both nurses and their patients.

 

Representatives and Senators from their respective health committees will also join the group for a panel discussion on a variety of health policy topics. The panel begins at 12:00pm.

 

WHEN:  March 6, 2019

11:00am Program Begins

11:15am Video message from U.S. Senator Brown and U.S. Congressman David Joyce

11:30am Message from Governor Mike DeWine

12:00pm Health Committee Legislative Panel

1:15pm  Stepping Into an Advocacy Role Using the EQ-I featuring Hile Rutledge

2:30pm Nursing Issues Panel

3:30pm Break, Group Photo

5:30pm Legislator Reception

 

WHERE:  Ohio Statehouse, Atrium

 

WHO: The Ohio Nurses Association and 23 Sponsoring Organizations

American Psychiatric Association, Ohio Chapter
Central Ohio Chapter of the Rehabilitation Nurses Association
Chamberlain University
Delta Xi Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International
Grand Canyon University
Kent  State University College of Nursing
Mid Ohio District Nurses Association
Mt Carmel College of Nursing
Northwest Ohio Nurses Association
Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses
Ohio Association of Occupational Health Nurses
Ohio Association of School Nurses
Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice
Ohio Council of PeriOperative Registered Nurses
Ohio League for Nursing
Ohio Nurses Association
Ohio Public Health Association
Ohio Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates
Ohio State Association of Nurses Anesthetists
Ohio Student Nurses Association
Otterbein College
Southwestern Ohio Nurses Association
The OSU College of Nursing
Ursuline College – The Breen School of Nursing
American Psychiatric Association, Ohio Chapter
Central Ohio Chapter of the Rehabilitation Nurses Association

 

About ONA: Formed in 1904, the Ohio Nurses Association is a powerful network of registered nurses who are committed to advancing nursing through education, political action and workplace advocacy. ONA is the leading voice of the approximately 200,000 professional registered nurses in Ohio. To become a member of the Ohio Nurses Association, visit www.ohnurses.org.