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The Institute of Medicine (2011) identifies changes that need to occur in nursing education; competencies and skills are

required to practice in a redesigned health care system. Engaging in scholastic activities that foster and promote professional growth, improvement, and understanding will enhance the delivery of safe and quality care within the health care system. The American Nurses Association attests that continuous professional growth in knowledge and skills will enforce commitment to life long learning and practice (2012). I am convinced that if Ms. Oyesanya is given the opportunity in your institution, she will not only be competent, but also as an asset to the nursing profession.

Letter to the Congress RE: Bill A01370A/S2470-A Deborah Aderin, B.Sc, R.N.

The Honorable Senator Elected Charles Schumer (D-NY). 322 Hart Senate Office Building, United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510 November 15, 2011

RE: Bill A01370A/ S2470A Safe Patient Handling for Healthcare Facilities Dear Senator, As your constituent, I am urging you in supporting the above referenced bill which would create a Statewide Safe Patient Handling Policy for all healthcare facilities in New York State. I am a Registered Nurse working in homecare settings, caring for patients that have various diagnoses that caused them to be confined to either bed or chair. They require assistance during transfer, lifting, and turning processes. Patients handling and movement are physically demanding, performed under unfavorable conditions, and are often unpredictable in nature. Patients offer multiple challenges including variations in size, physical disabilities, cognitive functions, level of cooperation, and fluctuations in conditions. As a weight to be lifted, some of these patients are unaware difficulties for handlers such as, distribution of weight, and become combative during the process. The cumulative weight lifted by a nurse over a period of time results in to gradual damage to the musculoskeletal system. Strategies to prevent or minimize work-related injuries associated with patient handling should be incorporated into everyday practice of a nurse. The New York State Assembly passed Safe Patient Handling Act on June 15, 2011. It is a policy that replaces manual lifting and moving tasks with machines and training to properly lift and move patients safely, without injury to the patient and the professional involved. The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Roy Lancman and Senator George Maziarz. The legislation has created the task force to identify the Safe Patients Handling Program elements and recommendations that will be submitted to the Commissioner of Health by July 1, 2012. The decision to declare the rules and regulations governing Safe Patient Handling to all healthcare facilities by January 1, 2013. The National Institute of Occupational and Health, affirmed that people should not lift more than thirty-five pounds; however, most of the adults patient weigh more than this which explains why statewide patient handling is important. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing personnel are consistently listed as one of the top ten occupations for work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The consequences of awkward patient handling and movement

includes negative impact on quality of care, patient safety, and patient comfort. Recruitment and retention of nurses is a serious problem; the nursing shortage has been exacerbated by occupational injuries and related disabilities. The American Nursing Association has been a long time advocate for the safe patient handling program. The ANA applauds the action in the Congress that would help improve patient safety and protect nurses and other healthcare workers from debilitating injuries. The effective use of assistive lifting devices will create safer work environments, improve quality of care for patients, and reduce work-related health care costs. They are also in agreement that if this bill is passed by the Congress, it there will be uniformity in all healthcare facilities, instead of voluntary guidelines. The challenges that can create barriers to obtaining the equipments that will eliminate the manual lifting include the expenses and the insurance coverage. It will be costly to implement, but workers injuries can be more expensive. Human services should consider establishing grants to healthcare facilities in purchasing these equipments, and in training nurses and all healthcare providers. I am absolutely in favor of this legislation that will prevent career-ending, debilitating injuries among men and women who are willing to render safe and quality care to the patients that are entrusted into their care. Thank you for your consideration and support. Sincerely,

Deborah Aderin, R.N

References American Nurses Association. (2010). Position statement on elimination of manual patient handling to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Retrieved November 3,2011,from http:// www.nursingworld.org/ healthcare and policy issues/ANA Position Statements Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2010).Occupational injuries and illnesses. Retrieved from November 3.2011 from http://www.us department of labor. Bill A01370 / S2470. New York State Safe Patient Handling. Retrieved from http:// assembly.state.ny.us/leg/bn=A.1370&term=2011.