NORTH FORT MYERS, Florida – On Wednesday, health workers in southwest Florida said House Bill 1239, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, creates dangerous situations for nursing homes.
The bill was signed in DeSantis back in April and educators who gathered in North Fort Myers said it was not a solution to the state’s lack of health care.
The event is part of a campaign across Florida whose participants have said they will “go for the boss” and other actions at their facilities to demand safer staff and oppose new laws that dangerously reduce staffing requirements.
Margaret Nerett, vice president of long-term care for the 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East union, agrees that there is a problem in Florida when it comes to nursing homes.
“We are going through a crisis,” Neret said.
HB 1239 was created in part to alleviate the labor crisis in nursing homes.
Roxy Nelson, executive vice president of unions
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East said it was doing the opposite.
“You will not bring workers back to bed, making it difficult for them to do their job,” Nelson said.
HB 1239 A state law was signed on April 6, changing the way Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) directly care for patients.
The bill partially reduces the requirement that a nursing home must provide a minimum of 2.5 hours of CNA staff per resident per day to 2.0 hours.
The 30-minute difference that Amy Rankle of Sarasota, according to CNA, has irreversible results.
“It was already difficult for us, at two and a half, now people don’t even do something. some people don’t get the shower they need, they break down from bedsores because we don’t have continuous help. we don’t have that responsibility to help take care of our people … and it’s hard, ”Rankle said.
A representative of the House of Representatives of Florida Lauren Mela from Naples, sponsored HB 1239.
We asked Melo how she believes this bill could affect the problems faced by nursing homes.
In a statement for Fox 4 from Lauren Mel:
I was proud to be a sponsor of HB1239. This bill allows to modernize staffing standards, which will directly benefit the patient. Today’s patient needs are completely different than 20 years ago. Immediate care staff will include mental health counselors, physical and respiratory therapists. HB1239 allows nursing home Florida to provide a more individualized approach to care.
Lauren Mel, a member of the Florida House of Representatives
According to the Florida Health Association, HB 1239 will allow other highly qualified caregivers other than CNAs, such as counselors and therapists, to intervene and meet patient needs.
“And ultimately, what it does is it slows us down,” Rankl said.
The AARP opposed the bill along with 1199SEIU educators and said the new law removes the elderly from nursing homes.
Events on June 8 in Florida coincide with the “National Day of Action,” in which key union workers are calling for safe working conditions and fair pay in their workplaces.
1199SEIU spokeswoman Desiree Taylor said Florida is among the 13 states participating in this national action, she says, to save nursing homes.