OAK BROOK, Ill. - Nurses rallied in Oak Brook Tuesday for safe staffing requirements in hospitals.
"Safe staffing saves lives," the nurses said.
The rally was held outside the Offices of the Joint Commission, which is the organization in charge of health care standards in the United States.
The nurses say that they are being overworked and forced to care for too many patients at once.
"Obviously safe staffing is great for patients, but we should also think of ourselves. Because without us, they can't get care. And the Joint Commission knows that and they are trying to take advantage of our generosity and our calling," a nurse said.
The nurses want the Joint Commission to require hospitals and nursing homes to meet safe staffing levels and share data on whether local hospitals are meeting those requirements or not.
The Joint Commission issued a statement, saying safe staffing is a nuanced issue involving multiple parties:
"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought critical attention to the need for more trained healthcare workers now and into the future to meet patient demand, as well as to reduce turnover. The events of the past two years have brought sharp focus to advance from the "Triple Aim" of healthcare (health, care and cost) to the "Quadruple Aim," which adds improving the health and well-being of care providers.
Healthcare workers are not immune to the stresses, physical exhaustion and moral injury that have been amplified in the cruel wake of COVID-19. We know that without a mentally healthy workforce, we cannot have safe care.
Staffing is a complex issue that is larger than, and cannot be resolved by, The Joint Commission alone. We look forward to working with other authorities on this issue. The context of Tuesday’s events is not one that is conducive to the meaningful dialogue required.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all or immediate solution. Addressing the root causes of the staffing shortage is the only way to create long-term and sustainable improvement."