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I selected the H.RES.88 act for this week’s discussion. This bill was introduced on 02/02/2021 by Jaime Herrera Beutler with 20 sponsors. This resolution identifies women’s cardiovascular health as an important health care issue and supports gender-specific cardiovascular health research, prevention, and treatment. Office on Women’s Health. (n.d.) stated that heart disease is a number one killer in the United States (U.S.) and is a leading cause of death in women. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2020) stated that one in six women of age 20 years or older have coronary heart diseases and these heart diseases cause 20% of female deaths in the United States. About four million women in the U.S. are suffering from chest pain/ angina and stress-induced cardiomyopathy (Office on Women’s Health, n.d.). Women having gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy have a two-fold increase risk of cardiovascular diseases as compared to women who have no such issues during pregnancy (Benschop et al., 2019). According to the H.RES.88 bill (2021), cardiac disease accounts for the deaths of 400,000 women each year or 1080 per day. In the U.S. more than 700 women die from pregnancy-related conditions each year and cardiac diseases is the leading cause of pregnancy-related death in the U.S. Clinician who provide care to women must take an active role in chronic disease prevention (Brown et al., 2018). Collaboration between OB/GYNs and cardiologists allows the better assessment of the patient (Brown et al., 2018). Screening of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) should be enhanced because quick and timely screening of CVDs allows providing appropriate care to the patients (Brown et al., 2018). By providing early interventions, appropriate screening, and patient education, cardiac health among women can be improved (Brown et al., 2018). Unrecognized symptoms and inadequate treatments of CVD among women contribute to increasing costs to the United States health care system and it is estimated to cost one trillion dollars by 2035 (H.Res.88 – 117th Congress, 2021). Healthcare policies are designed to improve the quality-of-care patients receive and the cost (Milstead and Short, 2019). More gender-specific researches should be done on cardiovascular disease as women have very different and subtle symptoms as compared to men (H.Res.88 – 117th Congress, 2021). According to H.RES.88 – 117th Congress (2021), 64% of women who die of coronary heart diseases show no prior typical symptoms. No doubt, women’s CVD symptoms are entirely different as compared to men, still, out of all participants in CVD researches, women comprise only 38% of total participants and this bill focuses on providing funding to researches in cardiovascular diseases in women (H.Res.88 – 117th Congress, 2021). This is an important bill that recognizes the importance of reducing CVD in women, raising awareness of preventable cardiovascular mortality in women, and identifying best practices for treating CVDs (H.Res.88 – 117th Congress, 2021).
As nurses, we pride ourselves on prioritizing patients’ safety in every task we do. The quality of care we provide is compromised if we do not observe and practice patients’ safety first and foremost, as we care for our patients. How can we deliver quality care if we feel unsafe in doing our jobs because of the fear of getting hurt? What about our safety? Workplace violence (WPV) means any act of violence or threat of violence, without regard to intent, that occurs at a covered facility or while a covered employee performs a covered service (Congress.gov, n.d.).It is also described as one of the most recognized complicated threats to nursing while on the job (McPhaul & Lipscomb, 2004). Sponsored by Congressman Courtney (Connecticut), H.R.1195, directs the Sec of Labor “to issue an occupational safety and health standard that requires covered employers within the health care and social service industries to develop and implement a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan, and for other purposes” ( Congress.gov, n.d. para.1).
Frequently we see aggression by patients to nurses, in a clinic, in the ER, or a bedside setting. I have had my share of witnessing this and had gone through it myself, working as a medical-surgical nurse all through my nursing career. Martinez (2016) claims some of the significant forms of workplace violence include physical and verbal aggression. Examples are simple scratching or kicking, broken jaws, open wounds, and getting yelled at and insulted. According to Gooch (2018), a report in the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows workers in the health care and social service sectors suffer the most significant incidence of injuries due to workplace violence of any business. Representative Courtney requested in 2013 that the Government Accountability Office investigate the trends in healthcare workplace violence and identify options for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA )to curtail it. Onward to 2015, Courtney and other members requested OSHA to develop safety standards in the workplace. In their part, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), with its commitment to ensuring a healthful and safe working environment for workers, has no specific standards for workplace violence (Unites States Department of Labor, n.d.). “This legislation compels OSHA to do what employees, safety experts, and Members of Congress have been calling for years – create an enforceable standard to ensure that employers are taking these risks seriously, and creating safe workplaces that their employees deserve” ( Courtney.house.gov, n.d. para.1).
The Bill will end the needless pain and trauma we endure while just doing our works as nurses. It is high time for this occupational hazard to be addressed through legislation to protect health care workers from acts of violence while on the job.
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