OSU Nurses: Mandatory overtime causing fatigue, jeopardizing patient safety

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Nurses at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center say they are overworked, and patient care is being jeopardized.

Thursday members of the Ohio State University Nurses Association delivered a thousand letters to the office of hospital administrators.

They're upset that OSU opposed legislation that would have outlawed mandatory overtime for nurses.

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House Bill 456 stalled at the Statehouse this year, and the nurses believe OSU's opposition played a big role.

"Nurses routinely work 12 hours shifts. So the hospital is forcing them to work an additional four hours, leading to a fatigued nurse providing care. The nurse is the last line of defense for patients, so fatigued nurses are less likely to catch medical errors before they get to patients. Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. So we see this as a matter of patient and public safety."

In response, OSU Wexner Medical Center sent 10TV this statement:

"Patient safety is always our highest priority, which is why we and other hospitals around the state oppose HB 456. Nursing leaders and hospitals need flexibility to serve patients in the safest, most effective way. Although some exceptions have been added to the bill, the legislation does not address all staffing needs. Hospital nurse staffing is complex with many considerations, including the training, skills and experience of staff; the number and acuity of patients in need of care; level of care required; accreditation requirements for the care; and more. This subject is covered in the current contract between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the Ohio Nurses Association and will be discussed as part of nursing contract negotiations in early 2019."

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