SAFE PATIENT HANDLING
Write a letter to your state member of the Legislature from your state New Jersey regarding a national or state health policy. For pending bills: http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/Policy-Advocacy/State/Legislative-Agenda-Reports/State-SafePatientHandling
The letter must be:
- in support to a current piece of legislation;
- one page, using a standard letter format;
- addressed properly to the student’s member of State Legislator http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/BIO.asp?Leg=47
- include an additional one-page policy document (brief) that summarizes the student’s rationale for support
Congressman John Conyers and Senator Al Franken re-introduced legislation on Safe Patient Handling & Mobility in December of 2015 with H.R. 4266 and S. 2408. A successful SPHM program has the potential to increase patient safety and decrease staff injuries while increasing nurse retention, recruitment, and retention. In a study published in The Journal of Healthcare Risk Management (vol. 30 no. 4) in a worst-case scenario a SPHM program will still add $2 million in value over a 5 year period. In a best-case scenario, the value added could be as high as $10 or $12 million Retrieved from http://www.rnaction.org/site/PageNavigator/nstat__take_action_sph_113.html
- include at least two scholarly references
SAFE PATIENT HANDLING
February 11, 2017
Shirley K. Turner
Ewing Twp., NJ 08628
I am writing in support of the Safe Patient Handling and Mobility policy. This legislation will benefit both nurses and patients in the healthcare settings. Indeed, nurses have suffered for a long time when handling patients. The American Nurses Association [ANA] (2016) indicates that poor handling of patients can potentially lead to the development of musculoskeletal disorders by nurses. The ailments can further cost them much money. Besides, handling patients inappropriately such as manual lifting can potentially increase the length of hospital stay and medical bills for the patients thus making health services expensive. Therefore, as you read this letter, you will encounter such reason as these that make me support this legislation.
I would kindly refer you to a study conducted by Wilson, Davis, Kotowski, and Daraiseh (2015), in which they sought to analyze the way nurses handled patients in the healthcare environment. These researchers found out that among all the health care professionals, nurses lift patients and medical equipment more without assist devices. Consequently, they are prone to pain in the legs, lower back, and feet. As you can see, the findings of these researchers are consistent with assertions that ANA makes.
I mainly wanted to urge you to consider this legislation as an important one since as nurses, we also must articulate our issues and make them known to you. In one publication, Weinmeyer (2016) explains the importance of advocacy by nurses for nurses. Nurses form the largest workforce in the healthcare system, and if their grievances are heard and acted upon, the health care system will experience tremendous changes and transform for the better. Accordingly, I support the legislation in entirety.
Rationale for Support
The policy for safe patient handling and mobility should be a priority for the nurses and the government. As the healthcare system transforms leading to many senior and dependent patients seeking care in the healthcare settings, nurses must be provided with a safe working environment that can allow them to deliver appropriate care. ANA (n.d) asserts that ensuring a safe environment includes providing assistive devices that can help nurses handle patients without developing fatigue and burnout. This assertion can contribute immensely to job satisfaction and eventually result in proper patient care.
Additionally, Mason, Leavitt, and Chaffee (2014) indicate that nurses are the key to the future of the nation’s health. Further, nurses often carry out the dangerous task because it is beyond their ability to reject and because their professional oath requires them to do so. However, since the practice affects their health, it is crucial to have legislation to regulate the practice. Therefore, their commitment to finding a safe environment for work should be heard.
Wilson et al. (2015) contend that the associated burdens of lifting patients can only be quantified using subjective responses from the nurses. The authors further explain that pain is a subjective response and most nurses have expressed more of it after implementing the practice. Therefore, to reduce such experiences, it is necessary to support this legislation.
last reason for supporting this legislation is to lower costs associated with
it. For instance, according to ANA (2016), the United States government spends
approximately $7 billion to compensate workers, pay their medical bills and
replace staffs. Therefore, this legislation not only enhances their health
status but also adds value to the economy.
American Nursing Association. ( 2016). Safe patient handling and mobility. Retrieved from http://www.rnaction.org/site/PageNavigator/nstat__take_action_sph_113.html
American Nursing Association.(n.d). Safe patient handling and mobility: Interprofessional national standards. Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/WorkplaceSafety/Healthy-Work-Environment/SafePatient/SPHM-Trifold-Brochure.pdf
Mason, D. J., Leavitt, J. K., & Chaffee, M. W. (2014). Policy & politics in nursing and health care (6th ed.).St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier/Saunder
Weinmeyer, R. (2016). Safe patient handling laws and programs for health care workers. AMA journal of ethics, 18(4), 416. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2016.18.04.hlaw1-1604.
Wilson, T., P. Davis, K. G., Kotowski, S. E., & Daraiseh, N. (2015). Quantification of patient and equipment handling for nurses through direct observation and subjective perceptions. Advances in Nursing, 2015.