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Hospital nurses are owed safe working environment

Cape Cod Times, letters to the editor, 9/30/11

September 30, 2011 2:00 AM

I write in response to your Sept. 20 article "Cape nurses rally for law banning forced overtime."

As a student nurse, I write in support of Massachusetts House Bill 1506, an act that protects patients from preventable medical errors by prohibiting mandatory overtime. Mandatory overtime requires nurses to stay on after their 12-hour shifts to fill in planned gaps in the schedule. After 12 hours on the job, nurses are statistically more likely to make errors and jeopardize patient safety.

I also support House Bill 1469 and Senate Bill 1141, an act relative to patient safety, which would mandate nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, ensuring that nurses throughout the state of Massachusetts would be able to provide safe and effective care to their patient populations. This Massachusetts Nurses Association has been working diligently for over a decade to get this bill passed.

I think it is fair time that we took the issues of Massachusetts nurses to heart, and provide them with a work environment where they can effectively do their job and safely care for patients.

Addie Schwarz
Cambridge

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