On May 6, NYSNA nurses gathered in Albany to participate in their annual Lobby Day. The Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act topped the list of priorities. Nearly 20 elected members of the Assembly and Senate spoke at the luncheon, including Assembly Member Aileen Gunther, RN, sponsor of the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act. “This is a matter of life and death,” she said. “Nurses have not received justice.”
Cathy Dawson, RN, works in the OR at Ellis Hospital, Schenectady. “When staff is short cases are delayed or put off for the next day,” she said. “Emergency cases are sometimes delayed.”
Psych patients in need
At Kings County Hospital Center, Crystal Hall, RN, works the psych unit. “Many do not have insurance,” she said. “For psych patients they need after-care—meds, visits, follow-ups. It is imperative that we have funding for these programs.”
Among the programs offered at this year’s Lobby Day: Workers and Patients at Risk: Active Shooter Incidents in Healthcare; Extent & Causes of High Maternal Mortality Rates among Black Women—What Nurses Need to Know.
Lobbying with the Long Island contingent
Nurses from Catholic Health Services of Long Island, St. Charles Hospital and Plainview Hospital visited with Assembly Member Steve Stern (right). A sponsor of the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, Stern plays an important role in spreading the word about safe staffing. Emily Wood (top right), RN, said, “More often than not we have staffing issues. It’s blatant disregard for the safety of patients and the nurses caring for them. I believe that without legislation, the only thing that will open their eyes is a tragedy and subsequent lawsuit.”