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Health & Science

Ohio Nurses Gather in Columbus to Rally for Patient Ratio

photo of nurse rally
Ohio nurses gathered at the Statehouse (pictured) to support a bill mandating nurse-patient ratios.

Nurses from around the state rallied at the Statehouse to draw attention to a bill that isn’t getting much traction so far in the Legislature. It would mandate patient-to-nurse ratios for hospitals and nursing homes.

Janie Harvey Garner is executive director with a foundation called Show Me Your Stethoscope – a group of nurses that does mission trips to help people who need medical care. But these days, her group spends time helping nurses improve their working conditions. Harvey Garner says too many nurses are stretched way too thin.

“You don’t get to go to the bathroom. You very rarely get to have lunch.”

Harvey Garner says nurses who work long hours with no rest are more likely to make mistakes with patients. But the Ohio Hospital Association’s John Palmer says this bill would hurt patient care.

“It would restrict prohibit and restricts hospitals’ ability to address patient care.”

Palmer says committees at hospitals make recommendations for staffing ratios that provide both a safe working environment for nurses and patients.