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Borderland Nurses Rally For Patients In Washington, D.C.

KFOX, 5/12/10

By Dena Richardson
May 12, 2010

EL PASO, Texas -- Roughly a thousand nurses rallied in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, including a few from the borderland.

Monica Sanchez, a registered nurse from El Paso, said she traveled nearly 2,000 miles in hopes of sending a message to Congress.

"We need to do better," said Sanchez. "We really need to advocate for our patients and get the staffing ratios to help us help the patients."

Sanchez said the growing demand for health care, coupled with a shortage of nurses, has forced many nurses to take care of more patients. So she and many other nurses want Congress to pass mandatory nurse to patient ratios.

Sanchez said lower ratios would help prevent burnout and allow nurses to provide better care, potentially saving more lives.

"There are nurses who can make mistakes and can get overwhelmed and just feel overworked," said Sanchez. "And that's not good for the patients."

Some of the nurses taking part in the rally want national standards for nurse-to-patient ratios based on a California law that has reduced hospital patient deaths.

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