Help create a safer environment in PA medical facilities

Help create a safer environment in PA medical facilities

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Kayla Brown started this petition to Healthcare workers and

“Hospital Patient Protection” is an additional chapter being proposed to amend the Healthcare Facilities Act. This bill is concerned with offering the best level of care in medical facilities, with a primary focus being on and increase in staffing ratios of nursing staff to patients.

The addition of the “Hospital Patient Protection” chapter will add to the existing policies by ensuring that qualified nursing staff is available and ready to meet the individual needs of the patients at all times. This proposed amendment is necessary due to the increased complexity in health care services and the difficulties patients face when accessing integrated services. If this bill is passed, it will raise the standards that nursing staff practice by, increase the ratio of nursing staff to patients in medical facilities, and protect all nursing staff from being reprimanded for reporting on unsafe patient conditions. Overall, these changes will lead to a safer environment for the patients admitted to medical facilities in Pennsylvania.

This bill will also greatly affect occupational therapists, especially in skilled nursing facilities. Currently, in most skilled nursing facilities, the ratio of nursing staff to residents is far too low. The state of Pennsylvania only requires one nursing staff employee for every twenty residents, and two staff members on duty at all times. Therefore, when the nursing staff must get a patient out of bed in order to attend an occupational therapy session and the patient requires the use of a mechanical lift to be transferred, both of the required nursing staffers on duty will be busy. This means that there are 39 other potential residents that are not being attended too. This impacts the implementation of occupational therapy services because there are numerous occasions where patients are not out of bed and ready for therapy, requiring the therapists to take the time out of their schedules to prepare the residents for their sessions. It is also a safety risk for a high number of patients to be unattended while the nursing staff is occupied with one patient.

Also, because the current nursing staff ratios are low, occupational therapists are frequently asked to perform the care routines, including bathing, toileting, dressing, and general hygiene/grooming for residents. Even though helping with activities of daily living (ADLs) is within the occupational therapy scope of practice, the residents receiving assistance from the occupational therapists may not be working towards these goals at the time being. The occupational therapist likely has other interventions planned for the resident that will provide more benefit and help the patient meet his/her goals. The low staffing ratios not only affect the quality of daily care that the residents receive, but they also take away from necessary therapy sessions.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!