Nurses association opposes Ingham plan

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Nurses and their allies showed up in force at the Sept. 27 meeting of the Ingham County Board of Commissioners. They urged the commission to listen to labor health issues they’re facing as an association.

Nicole Denise Jackson of the Michigan Nurses Association raised several labor issues. She is the group’s labor relations representative for nurses and nurse practitioners in the Ingham County Health Department. Issues included the delegation of tasks to unlicensed personnel.

“You cannot delegate without supervision and that issue has not been discussed with the MNA bargaining unit, so that’s one reason why we’re here,” Jackson said.

“MA’s are not required to be CPR certified,” she said, and need just six months of experience, which is not enough.

“We ask that the county bargain in good faith with the MNA over this unit,” Jackson said, as she handed commissioners copies of MNA’s demand to bargain this issue.

Jackson told the board “essentially the county has just ignored us, in that regard.” The issue happened to be going to the board the same day to be approved.

Other Michigan Nurses Association employee’s spoke out in high frustration over these similar issues to the board of commissioners.

Annie Clark, a registered nurse for infectious disease thinks that it is not a medical assistant’s position to give vaccinations and immunizations to patients suffering from infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, yet solely a registered nurse position. Her stance essentially goes back to Jackson’s issue of the delegation of tasks to unlicensed personnel. Clark feeds off this issue and does not think medical assistants (who don’t have the same licensing and qualifications as a registered nurse) should be performing such tasks.

“You have to go to school and understand how to do immunizations on these patients with infectious disease,” Clark stated.

Clark continued to stress the importance on why immunizations and vaccinations on these disease should not be done by medical assistant’s because of lack of training.

Clark attempted to put some of the board members in her shoes and what she deals with daily.

“Think about it when you want to pull a medical assistant that goes and gets certified training and think about the importance of immunizations on the hepatitis C, hepatitis B, HIV population, think about if it was one of your family members.”

The commission is scheduled to make a decision within a couple weeks.

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