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How Barack Obama Will Affect Nurses

How Barack Obama Will Affect Nurses

NursesForObama.com / Obama for America

January 16, 2009


Barack Obama has been a consistent champion of America’s nurses. As an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama chaired the Senate Committee on Public Health and helped lead efforts to protect Illinois nurses and improve the quality of health care throughout Illinois. As a U.S. senator, Obama serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee where he has continued his long record of advocacy for America’s nurses.

NURSES’ RIGHTS

Oppose Mandatory Overtime: Barack Obama believes supporting nurses in the workplace leads to better health care outcomes. Numerous reports have demonstrated the importance of proper workplace protections for nurses and other medical professionals for ensuring that patients receive the highest-quality care and reducing preventive medical errors. In the Illinois State Senate, Obama worked to ensure that nurse-staffing levels and work conditions were subject to public review so that hospitals and other facilities implemented strong pronurse, pro-patient policies. In the U.S. Senate, Obama is a cosponsor and advocate of the Safe Nursing and Patient Care Act of 2007 which would limit mandatory overtime to true emergency situations. As president, Obama will sign this legislation into law.

Ensure Safe and Adequate Staffing Levels: As chairman of the Illinois State Senate Committee on Public Health, Obama led efforts in Illinois to ensure that health care facilities implement safe staffing levels for nurses and adequate nurse-to-patient ratios. Obama’s Hospital Report Card Act, which provided requirements on safe staffing levels, was signed into Illinois law. In the U.S. Senate, Obama built on his record of success and introduced the Hospital Quality Report Card Act, a bill that requires reporting of staffing levels for nurses which will help to ensure that the number of nurses is consistent with the types of care needed by the patients and the capabilities of the staff. Obama’s universal health plan also includes a provision requiring health care facilities to monitor issues such as nurse-patient ratios. Obama’s health care reform plan supports inclusion and expanded reimbursement for advanced practice registered nurses.

Protect Nurses’ Labor Rights: Barack Obama has fought the Bush National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) efforts to strip workers of their right to organize. He is a cosponsor and strong advocate of the Re- Empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Tradeworkers (RESPECT) Act, which will overturn the NLRB’s “Kentucky River” trilogy of decisions classifying hundreds of thousands of nurses, construction and professional workers as “supervisors” who are not protected by federal labor law. Obama also believes that the Bush NLRB’s decisions could put too many nurses – over 800,000 nurses cross the country – at risk of losing their rights to organize and bargain collectively simply because they participate in modern managerial approaches like team production or direct others’ work as part of their professional responsibilities. The RESPECT Act reaffirms Congress’ original intent to exclude from the National Labor Relation Act’s protections only supervisors truly vested with managerial responsibilities.

Bring More Americans into the Nursing Profession: The nursing workforce shortage ranks as one of the most pressing issues facing our health care system. Nurses play a critical role in every aspect of patient care and also serve as administrators and executives in clinical and policy settings. Yet, too many young adults are choosing not to enter the nursing profession, and a significant number of current nurses are switching careers or retiring early. Barack Obama will improve working conditions including limiting mandatory overtime, improving nurse-to-patient ratios, providing additional support to training and incentive programs, and continuing to recognize and support nurses’ right to organize. In addition, Obama supports reauthorization of Title VIII training programs with greater financial incentives for students and nurse faculty, including scholarships and loan repayment. Obama also supports adequate funding of the Nurse Reinvestment Act. In the Illinois State Senate, Obama sponsored legislation and voted to increase funding for nursing scholarships.

Implement Assistive Patient Handling Technology to Improve Nurse Safety: Six of the top ten occupations at highest risk for back injuries are in health care, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nurses are at high risk for sustaining back injuries, which are most likely to occur when moving a patient. Barack Obama believes it is critically important to implement “safe lift” and other assistive technologies to protect nurses from preventable injury. Barack Obama will expand and accelerate research to identify novel and innovative technologies and determine which are the most effective for various medical settings. He will also provide federal financial and technical assistance to hospitals, nursing and long-term care facilities to employ effective assistive technologies and will direct the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to implement meaningful standards that protect nurses from injury related to patient care.


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    clairdesage

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    With any legislation that will occur under Obama would be most beneficial to the nation if the nurses were involved in the changes. Nurses are in the hospital system 24/7 so to speak and should have a voice in decision making, ie design of health care facilities that are nurse/doctor friendly, not hotel friendly, nurse staff ratios based on acuity worked in the past but with the advent of DRGs or diagnostic related groups, were eliminated. Now nurse patient ratios are based on numbers no matter how complicated the patient's needs may be. Nurses can contribute much but often are not usually taken seriously on how to improve/and or manage the system. And undoubtedly, given nurse input, nurses would know how to save money to get rid of excess costs. As for safety, nurses can also assist JCHA of what is priority, instead of paper pushing. If nurses run the health care administration and given a platform to execute and delegate workable formats set by nurses, so much could be improved. And retired nurses may come back to nursing that left because the system became business (customer based) instead of professional (client based).

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    maxsofu

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    D only President whose spoted out d importance of Nurse in daily work,We ofcourse many a problem with so types of patient.I have full hope as I myself is a nurse from other country,He'll be a lucky charm for all nurse in U.S.God be wth him always n all d ways.

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    mzblkangel

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    We all need change, even it the medical field. I dont think it matters the race or the nationality of your nurse as long as they are giving you the care that you deserve. Foreign nurses have provide excellent care to patients and I dont feel anyone should attact other races on this forum. The concern at hand is that it is unsafe for medical personnel to work mandatory hours due to naturally being tired. It is a given factor that medical errors occur when medical staff are tired and that isnt fair to the patient of the medical person that is providing care.

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    luvsmusic63

    over 5 years ago

    8 comments

    I have been a nurse for nearly 25 years and saw the care of our patients lack because of insurance control, hospitals cutting back on staff to save money. Let's face it, medicine has turned into business and to many non-nurses it is not about patients. Obama is not going to tell the hospitals to hire or fire. That is not his job. Times are hard not because of a president, but because of the bankers and other beauracrats that ran us into the ground. We have to reform how people look to medicine and to put patients back as number 1! The insurenace people run medicine and they are all about money. I was a patient a few weeks back and thank the Lord as I was treated well. I agree with Alexandra11, watch out! We are headed toward socialism and if we don't open our eyes to that we will lose a lot of our rights. Read jasminerunner. She has experience in the social medicine area. Obama will be our new president, but watch his true colors will show and this chosen person to expedite a liberal, socialistic agenda will slowly change this nation into a country that others are trying to rid themselves of.

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    dthehippo

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    i can't see any consideration for us nurses who're still waiting for retrogression to be lifted.

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    elynne

    over 5 years ago

    6 comments

    i hope he'll also do something about foreign nurses working in US....

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    OWUSU

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    I believe Obama is right person to help build the economy God bless us all

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    cab020881

    over 5 years ago

    8 comments

    It's about time that someone in gov't realizes that healthcare is a priority and should be a right for all citizens, not a luxury for the few. I've been an RN and healthcare provider for 40 years and I've watched over the last 15 years as we've gone backwards in the availability of quality healthcare for everyone in this country. I'm praying for our new President that he will be successful in creating an environment where profit will not be the only motive for providing care.

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    NurseMo

    over 5 years ago

    10 comments

    Coming from both perspectives as a former cna and now a new nurse I say bring all and any change that will bring about nothing but the best for both patient and nurse!

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    candicedejae

    over 5 years ago

    6 comments

    I think it will be an awesome change and it is so needful. God bless all efforts

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    underwood

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    i am a person who works in the health care business as a cna and love my job taking care of the elderly and wants to be a nurse. i love taking care of all people you have to care for people to be in this profession and not for the money.and the ratio for nurses in a nursing home are very high i do not know about hospital because i have not worked in one yet .the pay that they receive does not compensate for their jobs they have people lives are in their hands one mistake and they are mess up for live.if your patients get sick all at ones them are your patients and your responsibility to do all paperwork and monitoring along with you cna and contacting the doctors and family when something go wrong the nurses are put under alots of stress. there are goods and bads in any job and you have some nurses that do not care and there for the money and i done seen them and work with some

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    dimimak

    over 5 years ago

    28 comments

    i don't believe that dental coverage should be considered an amenity. oral health greatly affects general health ie lymphatic/immune system. see, its about choice. when the responsibility is someone else's, they make the choice. starting to feel like a child again? does government really love me? please love me
    the truth of the matter is that achieving a utopia is not possible when one has no need to make tough choices. just pick "all of the above" every time to make everyone feel they like you. "he's a goog guy, he cares". Well I do. I will give my patient the best care because they are a valuable human being who has the capacity to achieve so much and when they are healthy again, will contribute and improve the world I live in through their own blood, sweat, and tears. If they are at the end of their time on this earth, I hope to make their transition out of this realm a peaceful one.
    Unless they are someone who has been a "taker" all their life and has done nothing for themself or others .. then I give them the best care possible-- not because of who they are, but because of who I am. but i will not expect a utopia thanks to them.

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    jasminerunner

    over 5 years ago

    18 comments

    I lived in Germany and England, both of which have socialized medicine. There are many good and bad points to the argument of this type of system. #1 Socialized medicine does not cover all the medical expectations that the US has grown to be accustomed to. Many people have additional health insurance that covers the amenities that many of us call necessities, to include dental, chemo for cancer found after the age of 55, HIV drugs....#2 You pay half of you salary each year for this type of system. #3 The nurses and doctors are poorly paid-you are a public servant, not an independent professional. Many nurses and doctors moonlight on their own time to make the money needed to live. #4 The care is not offered many times to non-citizens due to their status. #5 The care/medications are not provided equally in every region (at least in the UK).
    Yes, the nurses have some perks. I agree. Our nation will have to find a happy medium to cope with the rising medical costs and the expectations of the people. This new system will take many years to make, but I hope when it comes, it respects both the medical professionals and the patient's needs.

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    dimimak

    over 5 years ago

    28 comments

    how does one lower health costs? hmmm...those greedy doctors with their 33year education, they don't earn it, they "get payed". those silly nurses....the nerve, be an RN in under 2 yrs and make 60k plus? that's "not fair".....lower healthcare costs, hmmmm. what about those unnecessary bells and whistles they call "heart monitors"--totally unnecessary when you have stethoscopes. what else...................................

  • Vqm7ej141869-02_sq90_max50

    dimimak

    over 5 years ago

    28 comments

    gatto. unemployed nurse. come on! have you seen the want ads?

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