Nurses gather at Ohio statehouse to advocate for change

Nurses and advocates joined forces at the Ohio Statehouse on Friday afternoon to rally for the approval of a bill that they believe will have a life-saving impact.

Ron Smith, the father of Tristin Smith, was an Ohio nurse before she tragically took her own life.

“I came across her, and my heart sank, completely stopping in its tracks, you know. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing with my own eyes,” Smith exclaimed. “It was absolutely horrifying. Those are the only words that come close to describing the sheer terror of the moment.”

Smith discovered a document titled “A Letter to My Abuser” on Tristin’s laptop after her death.

“The American healthcare system is the abuser,” he stated.

In the letter, the individual expressed their sentiments about being in an abusive relationship and stated that they can no longer tolerate it. They also mentioned feeling let down by the law and the lack of support they have received.

Smith is advocating for change now.

“We are here to assist the nurses and save lives, as we don’t want any other fathers or families to experience the same pain we have endured,” he expressed.

Smith and other nurses from various counties, including influencer “Nurse Erica,” gathered at the Ohio statehouse on Friday to advocate for the approval of House Bill 285.

Erica passionately expressed her concern about the dire consequences of inadequate staffing in healthcare facilities. According to her, patients lose their lives due to this pressing issue, regardless of the location or type of medical institution. She emphasized that this problem is prevalent in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings, leading to devastating outcomes for patients.

The bill mandates that hospitals must meet certain staffing requirements, including specific nurse-to-patient ratios. Additionally, the director of health is given the authority to impose fines for any violations of these staffing requirements.

According to Erica, there are currently nearly 6 million nurses in the country. However, she highlights a pressing issue of a staffing crisis, where no one wants to work at the bedside due to unsafe and toxic conditions.

Smith emphasized the importance of spreading awareness to ensure the successful passage of the bill.

“It ultimately boils down to financial considerations,” Erica emphasized. “The healthcare organizations that engage in lobbying efforts and back various legislators are reluctant to allocate the necessary funds. It’s simply a matter of dollar signs.”

Speaker of the Ohio House, Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill), expressed his appreciation for nurses in a statement. He emphasized the importance of evaluating HB285 to ensure a skilled and well-rested nursing workforce that can effectively perform their duties. The bill is currently progressing through the committee process, and its outcome remains to be seen.

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MBS Staff
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