(February 11, 2016) OOA President-elect Geraldine N. Urse, DO, and Elizabeth Snajdar, a first-year student at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine-Dublin, were among a panel of speakers who testified yesterday at the Ohio House of Representatives Health Committee against legislation that threatens the team approach to quality care and patient safety.
HB 216 revises the law governing advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), allowing them to practice independently without a standard of care agreement with a physician.
Urse noted personal experience during their testimony. Before going to medical school, she was a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. “I observed the depth and breadth of knowledge of the physicians and surgeons with whom I practiced," she said. "I truly didn’t know what I didn’t know. As a faculty development teacher for medical students and residents, we often refer to this as ‘unconscious incompetence.’”
Urse, who is executive director of Medical Education at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital in Columbus, said patient safety is at the heart of the issue. She said formal educational and competency demonstration standards are essential for all professions: "Do we want engineering technicians to build bridges without obtaining an engineering degree or working with an engineer to develop the skills necessary to assure competency? Do we want paralegals to practice law, without earning a law degree or working with a licensed attorney? Do we want nursing aides to practice nursing without supervision by an RN or without earning a nursing degree? Can we protect the safety of the public without having competency measures at all levels of health care?"
Snajdar, a registered nurse, stressed that nurses play an important role as part of the health care team.
"I stand before you not only as a nurse and a medical student, but a patient myself, like all of us," she said. "I hope that you will consider my testimony in the patient-centered spirit in which I offer it. I also speak as a medical student and future physician who has pledged to uphold the principles of the Hippocratic Oath, especially to 'do no harm.' Supporting this bill would jeopardize that most important pledge."
In the photo: Elizabeth Snajdar, a first-year student at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine-Dublin, and OOA President-elect Geraldine N. Urse, DO, pose with OOA Health Policy Clerk Nate Overmire, OMS IV, after testifying on HB 216.