Proposed law would ban forcing Ohio nurses to work overtime

Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 3:10 PM


            FILE
FILE

A new Ohio bill could keep hospitals from requiring nurses to work overtime as a condition of employment.

Hospitals across Ohio are facing a shortage of nursing staff and can require nurses to work longer hours and cover more shifts, but a nurses union said that creates dangerous conditions for patients who might get bad care from exhausted staff.

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But the Ohio Hospital Association said staffing is complicated and hospitals need to have the flexibility to schedule the nurses they need at the times that they are needed.

The bill, if approved, could shake up the workforce landscape at the largest private employers in the region. Across Ohio, there are more than 200,000 registered nurses.

The hospital association said in a statement that the legislation “improperly assumes that all nurses share the same skill sets and are simply ‘interchangeable parts’ in the treatment of patients.”

“Hospitals must have the flexibility to respond to the dynamic state of patient needs and must focus on a variety of factors when determining staffing levels, while always keeping patient safety at the core of those decisions,” the association said.

The association said some of those factors include patient needs, volume, and acuity, patient satisfaction, resources available, nursing staff competency and skill mix, availability of medical and support staff and a variety of staffing standards.

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“Staffing a hospital is a complex process that continually changes based on community health and patient needs … Prohibiting overtime as presented in this proposed legislation restricts hospitals’ ability to adjust to the needs of their patients,” the hospital association said.

House Bill 456 was introduced by Rep. Robert Sprague, R-Findlay, on Dec. 29.

Sprague said he’s had conversations with exhausted nurses who are worn down from being asked to work long hours as the population ages and strains the health care system.

He said he’s concerned that exhausted nurses required to work these long hours could lead to medical errors that could have been prevented.

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“It’s a recipe for a problem,” he said.

The Ohio Nurses Association has been working toward the proposed legislation since 2015 and this is the biggest state legislation push the union expects to be involved in this year.

Lori Chovanak, CEO of the Ohio Nurses Association, said nurses typically work demanding 12 hour shifts multiple days in a row with sometimes no lunch breaks.

These nurses might be in no condition to safely continue to work but are fearful of losing their jobs or getting license infractions for not following orders stay past their shift.

Some might be able to stay when asked, others might not, but the proposed law could let them make that decision.

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“It puts that decision making with the nurse who can do self assessment,” Chovanak said.

The bill would make Ohio the 19th state to make it illegal to force nurses to work beyond their regularly scheduled shift – a practice that can lead to unsafe patient care, Chovanak said.

The nurses union pointed to research indicating increased medication errors, patient falls and patient morbidity when nurses work lengthy shifts.

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

She said hospitals sometimes can anticipate an influx of patients, so there are elements of the bill that let hospitals staff for emergency situations.

By the numbers

11,020: Registered nurses in the Dayton metro as of 2016

$64,630: Annual mean wage for Dayton registered nurses

$31.07: Mean hourly wage in the Dayton metro

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

2 rape trials scheduled to start in Greene County on Monday

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 7:02 AM

Two separate rape trials are set to begin Monday in Judge Stephen Wolaver’s courtroom in Greene County Common Pleas Court.

Myron Marquice Walker, 20, is charged with rape and gross sexual imposition and has been held in the Greene County Jail since his arrest in October.

A grand jury indicted Walker on the charges on Oct. 20, and Walker pleaded not guilty to the charges on Oct. 27.

STAY CONNECTED: Greene County News on Facebook

This is not the first trial for Walker on rape charges. On Jan. 12, 2017, a jury found him not guilty of rape and did not reach a verdict on a charge of gross sexual imposition. 

Myron Marquice Walker

The case stemmed from an incident that allegedly happened in November 2015 in a Hawthorn Hall dormitory at Wright State University, according to Greene County court records.

RELATED >>> Jury acquits ex-WSU student in rape case

Jury selection is scheduled to start first thing Monday morning, according to Wolaver’s office.

If Walker’s case is delayed, the jury trial of David P. Coleman, 34, who has been held at the Greene County Jail since his arrest in April 2017, is scheduled to begin with jury selection, according to Wolaver’s office.

David P. Coleman

On April 28, 2017, a grand jury indicted Coleman on charges of rape, felonious assault and abduction, according to Greene County court records. On May 5, 2017, Coleman pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to the court records.

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Coleman’s trial will have to be rescheduled, if Walker’s case gets started as planned, according to Wolaver’s office.

This news organization is working to gather more information on these cases.

Lanes reopen after two-vehicle crash on I-70 in Clark County

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 6:51 AM

I70 ax

UPDATE @ 8 a.m: Lanes have reopened on westbound I-70 near the 48 milemarker after a two-vehicle crash occurred early Sunday morning, according to OHSP.

INITIAL REPORT

Two lanes are blocked on westbound I-70 near the 48 milemarker after a two-vehicle accident early Sunday morning. 

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The Ohio Highway State Patrol-Springfield Post, responded to the crash around 4:45 a.m., per initial reports.

According to officials, two vehicles, a mini-van and a pick-up truck, were traveling west on I-70 when a crash occurred, causing both vehicles to hit the median.

The driver of the mini-van was reportedly trapped in the vehicle before crews were able to free him by cutting the door off. 

One driver was transported to Miami Valley Hospital and the other was transported to Soin Medical Center.

Both drivers suffered from minor injuries and are expected to be okay, according to sheriff’s. 

The crash is still under investigation.

We will continue to monitor when lanes will reopen and update this story. 

Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 12:35 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 4:51 AM

Staff photo
Staff photo

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • On westbound I-70 near the 48 mile-marker in Clark County, reports of a two-vehicle injury accident with a vehicle on its top around 4:50 a.m.

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents to report. 

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

>> RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.
  • I-70 between Upper Lewisburg Salem Road and Brooksville-Phillipsburg Road, Lane closure Jan. 22 - 29. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. Shoulder closures Jan. 22 - Sept. 30. Both the inside and outside shoulders of I-70 will be closed during construction. 

Rain showers start the week, possible snow flurries Tuesday 

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 4:29 AM

Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Getty Images
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images(Getty Images)

>>WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • A few showers expected today
  • More rain likely Monday
  • Colder with the chance for snow Tuesday

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

>> 4 tricks to help avoid illness during big temperature changes

TODAY: A few showers are expected throughout the day today. While it won’t be a wash-out, you’ll want to make sure you have an umbrella handy if you have plans to be out. Temperatures will be on the mild side in the mid to upper 40s. 

TONIGHT: A few light showers can’t be ruled out overnight, but more dry time is expected. Lows will be in the lower 40s.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

>> County-by-County Weather

MONDAY: More rain expected for the day, especially in the afternoon and early evening. Rain could be heavy at times with highs peaking in the lower to mid 50s. 

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

TUESDAY: Colder air returns with highs in the upper 30s early in the morning. Temperatures will likely fall through the entire day with a chance for snow showers or flurries. 

>> 5-Day Forecast

WEDNESDAY: Another cool day expected with partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid to upper 30s. 

THURSDAY: Partly sunny skies as temperatures peak in the upper 30s again.