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Letter: Safe staffing is worth supporting, implementing

Recent articles in the newspaper point out the poor care and neglect patients in nursing homes because of in adequate staffing. We health care professionals have been trying for 20 years to get a law on the books that would provide a safe number of nurses and assistants to fix this problem, not only in nursing homes but hospitals too in New York State.

Every time a nurse is given one more patient than she can safely care for mortality goes up. Nurses need time to be with their patients to determine when something is going wrong, as well as provide good care.

To claim that legislators should not determine what is best for patients but should leave it to the discretion of the CEO and or owners who are nothing but profit driven is ridiculous. Right now only 8 percent of the nursing homes of the 619 nursing homes in the state meet a standard of 291 minutes per day per patient, which shows they are not doing the right thing!

The other tactic is to try to scare the public to say it will cost Medicaid more money if this bill is passed. Has anyone checked out the current cost of a monthly stay at a nursing home? A cruise ship’s more reasonable.

The only way to fix the problem is to pass laws that force a safe number of patients for nurses to care for. Daycares have it for children. California did it and it works! We should to.

Diana Butsch, RN MSN

West Falls

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