Nurses on the front lines of the opioid crisis are being replaced with happy nurses, and some of them have no plans to be happy anytime soon.
A group of nurses and other professionals have set up an online petition to help the U.S. government put a halt to the change.
The nurses say they are being given a “bad rap” for years of ignoring the problem.
“It’s a little bit scary for nurses,” said Dr. Michelle Lipps, who works in the medical unit of a community hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
“We have been told for so long that we’re just there to keep patients alive.”
The nurses are asking the Obama administration to consider using the National Nurses United (NNU) organization to help put an end to the practice of nurse-on-nurse (NOS) or “nurse over nursing.”
The nurses say that by putting a halt on NOS, they can save lives and improve patient care.
Nurses and other medical workers have been at the forefront of the fight to curb the rising number of opioid overdoses.
The crisis has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people in the U, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
On Monday, the White House said it would send a team to New York to begin talks with the state’s health department to discuss the issue.
But a spokesperson said the team would be “very busy” in the next few weeks.
“I have seen the toll that the epidemic has taken on health care workers,” said Valerie Taylor, the U-S-A’s director of health and human services.
“Our focus now is on getting the federal government to take immediate action to ensure we have a better solution to this crisis and to prevent the further death and suffering of our citizens.”
While many have been pushing the Obama White House to act on the problem, many in the health industry have been reluctant to change their stance on nurse-to-nursing ratios.
Some experts, however, have suggested the administration take the next step.
The NNU petition calls for the White National Center for Medical Progress (NNCMP) to stop using the phrase “nursery nurse.”
It also asks the president to use the term “happy nurse.”
“While NNMCMP has not changed its nursing practices, we are not currently seeing NN nurses over NN,” the petition reads.
“When NNNs were first introduced, there were fears that the term would cause a backlash and discourage NN patients from seeking care.
In fact, the NNMs have been found to be effective and safe, and have resulted in fewer opioid overdose deaths than NNHPs.
While NNPs are not in a position to directly address the issues that prompted the NNNs to be created, the continued use of the term is the most effective approach.”