Ohio Nurses Association Calls for a Meaningful Reduction in Nonessential Services to Preserve the Healthcare Workforce


November 20, 2020

Contact: Anne Ransone, ONA, 614-975-0485, aransone@ohnurses.org

The following statement is attributable to Jessica Frymyer, RN, Chair of the ONA Economic and General Welfare Commission:

“Ohio’s slow down rather than shut down mentality must start applying to elective surgeries. Many hospitals across the state have already taken steps to reduce elective surgeries and procedures, while others, such as The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are moving full steam ahead without any reduction. Meanwhile, COVID-19 numbers are record-breaking, as are hospitalizations and ICU admissions. As we enter flu season, we can expect hospital beds to become even more scarce.

Furthermore, we are already experiencing significant shortages of healthcare personnel because of both community and workplace COVID-19 spread, and PPE is continuing to be rationed and re-used. Nurses and healthcare workers are crying out from the frontlines in several hospitals that this pace is not sustainable. This is a time for common sense, and common sense suggests now is the time to slow the number of elective surgeries to preserve healthcare personnel, PPE, and hospital capacity.

We are proposing:
The state issue guidelines on slowing down elective surgeries and procedures so all healthcare facilities are operating on uniform principles to manage capacity while preserving the healthcare workforce and PPE supplies.

We propose these guidelines:

  • Specifically dissuade true elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures that require overnight stays.
  • Are considerate of surgeries that, if not performed, would drastically inhibit the continuum of care for patients.
  • Encourage the redirecting and re-deployment of healthcare personnel into other units where healthcare personnel are experiencing shortages as non-essential services are scaled back to avoid furloughs.
  • Consider factors such as burnout and fatigue among healthcare workers, rather than focusing solely on capacity.”


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 190,000 professional registered nurses in Ohio. To become a member of the Ohio Nurses Association, visit www.ohnurses.org