In November 2018, Massachusetts residents will vote on ballot Question 1, a proposed law that would limit how many patients could be assigned to each registered nurse in Massachusetts hospitals and certain other health care facilities. This will be devastating for behavioral and mental health facilities. Concerned by the negative impact that this proposed law would have on overall patient care, McLean has come out publicly in opposition to Question 1.
Reasons behind this opposition are detailed in a recently issued statement from McLean Hospital and a white paper prepared by the Massachusetts Association of Behavioral Health Systems. McLean nurses are also speaking publicly about why they oppose Question 1. We will be featuring these narratives during the weeks leading up to Election Day voting on November 6, 2018.
As a nurse who knows many other nurses in many different systems, I understand the stress and strain that understaffing causes. I have worked in the field for 20 years and have felt the crush of being asked to do too much and not feeling able to give the best care to my patients. Mandated staffing levels may help a percentage of this problem, but it doesn’t solve everything. In fact, this ballot question will cause harm.
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