Nursing Injuries Getting National Attention

This month, NPR began running a series on nursing-related injuries across the country. The timing couldn’t have been better to highlight patient safe handling issues Local 1991 has been working on for some time.
State Sen. Dwight Bullard and Rep. Hazelle Rogers have agreed to sponsor a bill on our behalfthat would require hospitals in Florida to develop and implement plans to achieve a safe environment to avoid injuries to employees or patients.
Hospitals have often opposed this legislation because of the cost of implementation, but studies show those costs are recouped over time due to reduced workman’s compensation claims and other factors.
But we’re not waiting for Tallahassee to make positive change on our home turf. Local 1991 has engaged in a labor-management partnership with Jackson Health System to implement safe patient handling throughout the system.
This project’s goals are to improve patient and employee satisfaction, decrease injuries, and improve the hospital’s bottom line.

Barbara “Vicki” Gonzalez, RN, BSN, a wound ostomy nurse and member of the Local 1991 executive board, is the chairperson of the committee overseeing the project.

This multi-disciplinary committee includes a nurse educator, several staff nurses, a physical therapist, a clinical expert from safe lift contractor Arjo Huntleigh and several members of hospital management. The hospital has purchased new equipment and will be getting more.

It will take time, but we look forward to making Jackson a safer workplace and leading the charge for healthcare workers and patients throughout the state!

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