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Mary's Corner: Legislators must pass bipartisan safe staffing laws for Nurses!

Pennsylvania is in a patient safety crisis, driven by unprecedented short-staffing! This is why I am impressed by the Nurses of Pennsylvania grass roots bipartisan efforts to bring the issue of safe patient limits and staffing transparency to public attention!  If elected, I will strongly support HB 1500/SB 214 for safe patient limits, because I have experienced the shortage of nurses during my stay in a hospital and have family members who are employed as nurses’ aides in skilled care facilities, who experience the same overload of patients. I was recently sent to a rehabilitation facility after a major back surgery, I checked myself out after 24 hours.  The facility was short-staffed, and the proper transfer of care was not accomplished.  In addition, my elder roommate waited more than 1 hour to receive medication, water and assistance to the bathroom.  This is unfair to patients who are sick and are dependent on skilled nurses and or nurses’ aides to provide for their needs.  It is also unfair to the nurses and nurses’ aides, who are over-whelmed with very ill patients, who require major care; which means some other patient may not get equal service.  These shortages increase attrition rates of staff, which further exacerbates the patient to care ratio, which leads to inadequate care to patients.  This practice of patient overload ratios has a positive impact on increasing the number of preventable deaths.  


I will also support HB 833/SB 336, so patients and families can make informed choices about their own health.  I made my own decision, because patients have rights and many families are afraid to speak up, even though they may not be satisfied with the care their loved one is receiving.  I personally have been frustrated about the entire process of reporting a facility that continues to overload healthcare workers.  Nothing is done, and the report comes back that nothing was found, or no patient was harmed.  Patient driven quality care with patient safety best practices must be the priority, therefore I favor the proposed HB 1500/SB 214.  I believe content experts, i.e. (nurses and nurses’ aides) need to be the voice for the patients, because these are the professionals who know the time and attention it takes to care for a patient properly!


 If elected, I will strongly oppose HB 2092, because staffing committees are ineffective and the professional health care workers that are involved in day-to-day operations of patient care know a safe staffing laws needs enacted!  I also strongly oppose HB 820/SB 518, which is another attempt to delegate a non-qualified person to do a nursing task.  This practice places undo liability on the nurse, putting their license at risk. I agree Pennsylvania is in a patient safety crisis, because I experienced the devastating effects of poor care and witnessed this as a family member of a loved one.


Keep up the good fight!


Mary Popovich

Candidate for State Representative

58th District


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