And in other news, the Florida Legislature this go-round passed both a House and Senate Bill which ammends the Nurse Practice Act to specify that each patient undergoing surgery will have a Registered Nurse as their circulating nurse. This measure is now awaiting signature by the governor. I will be surprised if Our Governer does not sign this for several reasons, not the least of which is that both bills passed their respective chambers unanimously. I mean, we (periperative RN's in Florida) convinced them this makes a huge difference in patient safety.
Why is this significant? Because without the provision in law, it is up to each individual hospital to determine if that facility will provide a registered nurse for each patient undergoing surgery, or one to cover many by supervising an unlicensed and therefore less expensive person. There are those that argue if I do my job properly as an RN Circulator, mostly everything will be boring, making this (covering many patients) acceptible.
It's those instances outside of the mostly that raise the issue; if I'm "immediatly supervising" an unlicensed caregiver in another room when the excrement hits the oscilating air movement device in your room, it takes a bit to get me in there and figure out what's happening.
Each State in the US defines its own Nursing Practice laws. Less than half of them require that a patient undergoing surgery be taken care of directly by an RN.