Are there Any Exceptions? What Are My Rights? What About Emergency Situations? The proposed minimum ratios are in the chart below. The law provides for certain exceptions including declared national, state, or municipal emergencies, natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or widespread outbreaks of disease. After years of efforts, Pennsylvania nurses have won this important protection for the sake of our patients and our profession. The ratios shown in the Ratios Unit Chart below are the minimums that each hospital must follow in its staffing plan and must be adjusted upwards to reflect actual patient acuity. Extensive research has shown that improved staffing reduces fatalities, medical errors, infections, accidents, and complications. Senate Bill and House Bill would improve transparency. Safe patient limits literally save lives. Which Healthcare Facilities are Covered?
These efforts include that your employer 1 seek persons who volunteer to work extra time from all available qualified staff who are working at the time of the unforeseeable emergent circumstance; 2 contact all qualified employees who have made themselves available to work extra time; 3 seek the use of per diem staff; or 4 seek personnel from a contracted temporary agency when such staff is permitted by law or regulation. This bill would require hospitals to gather and report information, making them more accountable and allowing consumers to make better choices on their care. Only direct care nurses can be counted in the ratios, and the ratios would cover all shifts. Nurses and other caregivers covered by the law can refuse overtime and no longer be dismissed or retaliated against by their employer. Physicians and physician assistants are excluded. Which Healthcare Facilities are Covered? The proposed minimum ratios are in the chart below. The ratios shown in the Ratios Unit Chart below are the minimums that each hospital must follow in its staffing plan and must be adjusted upwards to reflect actual patient acuity. They can still volunteer for overtime. PASNAP has worked with elected leaders in Pennsylvania to create and push for bipartisan legislation to improve staffing transparency, hold hospitals more accountable, and guarantee minimum staffing standards. Studies have shown that proper staffing saves lives, reduces errors, decreases complications, and improves patient satisfaction, while also reducing nurse fatigue and burnout. PASNAP has worked hard to address this issue with strong contract language, but — with more hospital managers cutting corners and prioritizing profits over patients — it remains a serious concern at union and non-union hospitals alike. The law covers employees who work in direct patient care or clinical services, including RNs, LPNs, respiratory therapists, and certain laboratory technicians. After July 1, , If you suspect a violation of the law has occurred, contact the Department of Labor at Are there Any Exceptions? Senate Bill and House Bill would improve transparency. After years of efforts, Pennsylvania nurses have won this important protection for the sake of our patients and our profession. The law provides for certain exceptions including declared national, state, or municipal emergencies, natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or widespread outbreaks of disease. What About Emergency Situations? What Are My Rights? Nothing would preclude any facility from implementing higher nurse staffing levels. The employer must exhaust reasonable efforts to obtain other staffing before mandating overtime. Implementation and enforcement would be overseen by the Department of Health. The bill specifically prohibits the use of mandatory overtime to solve chronic short staffing and the use of on-call time as a substitute for mandatory overtime. Unfortunately, most hospitals are very tight-lipped when it comes to their nurse staffing. All medical facilities including acute care hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, rehab facilities, nursing homes, ambulatory surgical facilities and state health facilities. However, if there is an exception i.
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