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5/27/2016 Senate approves bill ensuring nurses during surgery
STATE HOUSE – The Senate has given its approval to a bill sponsored by Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne to require hospitals and surgical facilities to adopt a policy of having at least one circulating nurse present during all surgeries.

The legislation, which passed the Senate yesterday, is aimed at ensuring that patients’ wellbeing is adequately provided for in the sometimes-hectic atmosphere of the operating room.

“Nurses and other medical staff are usually spread very thin in hospitals and medical facilities. They are usually responsible for many patients at a time, and work hard to ensure that all their needs are met,” said Senator Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence). “But during surgery, patients really should have a nurse all to themselves. Having a medical professional in the room who is not actually performing the surgery ensures that there is someone who can assist the surgery team if necessary, help if there’s an unexpected problem and monitor the patient’s condition. Always having a nurse present during surgery will increase health and safety for patients in Rhode Island.”

The legislation has the support of the Rhode Island State Nurses Association, which recently honored Senator Coyne as its “Legislator of the Year” for her advocacy on the issue.

The bill (2016-S 2469A) is cosponsored by Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence), Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), Sen. James E. Doyle II (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket) and Sen. Ryan W. Pearson (D-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln). It will now go to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) is sponsoring companion legislation (2016-H 7448).

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923