In this episode of Wine, Women, and Revolution, Kate McLaughlin returns to discuss the recent developments in the fight for safe staffing ratios in New Jersey.
Kate starts off by telling us that it has been 17 years since the first safe staffing ratio was proposed in New Jersey. Sadly, we still don’t have a law. The current hospital bills are A-1470 and S-989. They propose what are considered safe ratios in several states and by organizations like NNU. Unfortunately, some NJ legislators have lost the courage of their convictions when it comes to the nursing home bill.
They voted against bills that they previously voted for in committee and vocally supported when Christie was in office. In a insane flurry of carve-outs to the bill, they removed the safe staffing ratios from long term care facilities that treat children. These are the types of facilities like the one where we had 11 children die this past autumn. In recent hearing about those deaths many came forward to talk about how understaffed these facilities were.
What is keeping New Jersey behind?
In this complete bizarro world, Trump had taken a better stance on safe staffing ratios than NJ legislature has. Of course, he also has rolled back the way you can take action against medical corporations. Kate explains the examples of where our regulations are inadequate at best and frankly dangerous. In a survey done of LPNs by Kate’s organization, they found these nurses in long term care facilities have between 25-100 patients each.
A dangerous mixture of greed and lobbying has kept New Jersey residents unsafe. Kate explains how, in this free market capitalist medical economy the facility that makes the most money wins. A great way to increase profits is to keep cutting staffing. This information is upsetting. Corporations are putting us in danger because of greed.
There is a rally coming up called Nurses Take Trenton and they invite everyone to join them on Match 7th at 9AM at the State House. They will have a table set up outside the cafe. If you reside in LD8, you can contact Heather to pick up a postcard to send to your representatives about safe staffing ratios. Other districts can reach out to NJ Safe Ratios for more info.