New law to limit ICU nurses working hours

The law establishes a one-to-one patient/nurse ratio in ICUs

BOSTON (WWLP) – Better quality of care is expected at your community hospitals. A new Massachusetts law, meant to enhance patient safety, went into effect Wednesday.

The law, signed by the Governor in June, establishes a one-to-one patient/nurse ratio in intensive care units. It comes at a critical time as the U.S. confirmed its first case of the deadly Ebola virus in Dallas.

“National Nurses United” surveyed more than 400 RN’s from two dozen states. Preliminary study results found more than 60% of nurses believe their hospitals are not prepared to treat the Ebola virus, stressing the importance of limiting one patient to every nurse in the ICU.

State Rep. Paul Mark of Peru told 22News, “The intention of this is to make sure that the most intensive cases are getting the attention that they need and there’s going to be a mechanism to determine at the hospital-level what is the appropriate care on a case-by-case basis.”

The Massachusetts Hospital Association insists hospitals in the state “stand ready” to treat any contagious diseases.

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