- Associated Press - Sunday, January 7, 2018

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A shortage of nurses in Ohio has prompted a state lawmaker to propose a law that would ban hospitals from requiring nurses to work overtime.

State Rep. Robert Sprague, a Findlay Republican, said he’s concerned that exhausted nurses working long hours can lead to preventable medical errors

“It’s a recipe for problems,” Sprague told The Dayton Daily News.

The Ohio Nurses Association supports the legislation Sprague introduced last month. Nurses sometimes work 12-hour shifts on successive days without lunch breaks, said the organization’s CEO, Lori Chovanak.

“We want to be able to provide safe, confident care to our patients,” Chovanak said.

Research shows mistakes in administering medication, patient falls and patient morbidity rise when nurses work overtime, she said.

“We want to be able to provide safe, confident care to our patients,” Chovanak said.

The Ohio Hospital Association opposes the bill. It said in a statement that hospitals need flexibility to adequately treat all patients. The proposed law overlooks the varied skillsets within hospital staffs and ignores staff competency, the group said.

There are more than 200,000 registered nurses in Ohio.

The law would make Ohio the 19th state to ban compulsory overtime, Chovanak said.

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Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com


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