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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Ohio nurses rally to change mandatory overtime law

Eighteen states have banned mandatory overtime for nurses, but not in Ohio.

Nurses from across the state held a rally inside the statehouse atrium to draw attention to a problem they believe needs fixed.

According to the Ohio Nurses Association, Ohio law doesn't give power to nurses to refuse mandatory overtime. Nurses say, as a result, preventable medical errors happen.

The group also said that nurses who do refuse mandatory overtime are threatened with abandoning their patients which can lead to losing their license.

"Patients come to us for care and we are doing that but when nurses come to work fatigued we are harming patients, " Lori Chovanak Executive Director of the Ohio Nurses Association, said.

In May, 10TV exposed the dangers of nurse fatigue and deadly consequences.

The Ohio Hospital Association is opposed to the ONA's efforts the change the language in the law that would give them a greater voice regarding mandatory overtime.

"The Ohio Nurses Association's proposal does not further patient safety or enhance the quality of care delivered in hospitals. Instead, it creates barriers to the most effective delivery of care and would leave patients without access to necessary services, " John Palmer of the Ohio Hospital Association said.