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Proposed law would ban forcing Ohio nurses to work overtime

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


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

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Montgomery Co. road will close because of landslide

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:11 PM

Landslide closes road

A landslide in the area between Farmersville West Carrollton and Soldiers Home Miamisburg roads has caused the Montgomery County Commissioners to pass a resolution that will close the roads, according to a release. 

 Scattered rain showers expected for the afternoon

The ground underneath the road appears to be unstable, and some of the dirt has fallen into a nearby river. The road will be closed within two months after receiving certified authorization, according to the resolution.

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Cruiser reportedly struck on Philadelphia Drive

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:04 PM

Police activity Philadelphia

An officer’s cruiser was reportedly struck by a vehicle on Philadelphia Drive this afternoon, according to initial reports.

The incident was reported around noon.

We’re working to learn more.

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Champaign Co. standoff suspect convicted of rape in Kentucky

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 11:33 AM


The man arrested after allegedly assaulting a deputy, which led to a standoff on East Dallas Road Sunday, has a prior conviction for child rape in Kentucky, according to records.

Christopher Blanton, 37, was arrested in the 100 block of East Dallas on suspicion of felonious assault and was transported to the Tri-County Jail.

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Blanton must register for the rest of his life in the Kentucky for his previous child rape conviction, however state records show he has been non-compliant. 

Officials were called to a residence in the 100 block of East Dallas Road for a complaint around 6 p.m. 

According to court documents, Blanton hid under a camper near the rear of a property and took off running into another camper in the area.  Deputies were able to initially capture Blanton.

A struggle with one of the deputies occurred after they captured Blanton and were searching him, records showed. A deputy was hit in the forehead with handcuffs, causing injury, officials said.

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Blanton was able to escape and ran inside a house on East Dallas Road with handcuffs on, barricading himself, the court documents showed. While running to the residence, deputies unsuccessfully deployed a Taser twice, court documents read.

Police were in a standoff outside the house for over two hours, using a bullhorn urging to get Blanton to come outside. He eventually was brought out of the residence in handcuffs.

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Man suspected of leaving scene of fatal buggy crash makes court appearance

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 10:24 AM

Steve Baker talks to Larry Hansgen about the fatal buggy crash in Shelby County.

A man accused of leaving the scene of a fatal crash involving a horse-drawn buggy in Shelby County made an initial court appearance Monday morning. 

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Steven Eugene Hunter, 42, has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident in connection to the crash that killed a 23-year-old woman Friday night. 

Steven Hunter

Hunter’s bond was set at $150,000, per the request of the county prosecutor, during the arraignment in Sidney Municipal Court. 

Additional details about the crash have not been released by investigators. At last check, three people, including two children and a man, were all in critical condition at Dayton hospitals. 

We’ll update this page as new details become available. 

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