Letter: Nurses bill could reduce availability of care
As a recently-retired Rochester Mayo RN, I’ve watched with interest Mayo’s argument against the KNABA bill. They worry it will “stifle its ability to innovate and take away decision-making from Mayo staff and hand it over to government-mandated committees.”
If people don’t get care, health disparities and health outcomes worsen; care is delayed. I’m well aware of Mayo’s current nurse staff model and I only wish people understood what is happening on the inside; most are not getting that perspective. Please know this nursing shortage has indeed impacted Mayo Clinic. And this bill COULD force bed closures due to staffing shortages
Mayo’s nursing department created their own scoring system to classify the acuity of patients, determining the number of bedside nurses required for patient care. I retired in February but in the last 6-9 months I worked there, (using their OWN criteria) many days were staffed at 70-75% workload for what patient acuity deemed allowable for adequate nursing quotas across units. Last fall the staffing model was shifted to spread nursing staff more equitably across all hospital units. But this means nurses float to units that could require totally different skill sets than what they’re familiar with.
Mayo’s department of nursing is already short staffed many days, for what is truly required to provide adequate care. Bed closures would be much safer than chronically short-staffed units where care is compromised, and risk of errors increase.
Let’s keep ALL hospitals included in this important KNABA bill.
Kay Anderson, Rochester