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A medical student checks on a patient in the hallway of the emergency room at Harborview Medical Center Wednesday, March 12, 2003, in Seattle.
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A medical student checks on a patient in the hallway of the emergency room at Harborview Medical Center Wednesday, March 12, 2003, in Seattle.
Credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Healthcare workers bill 'blown to bits' by amendments, sponsor says

The sponsor of a patient safety bill said it’s been obliterated by proposed amendments.

The legislation, House Bill 1155, was meant to mandate meal and rest breaks for healthcare workers on 12-hour shifts.

Instead the bill was upended by two amendments, according to Jennifer Muhm of the Washington State Nurses Association.

One of the amendments would limit some health care workers shifts to eight hours. The second would exempt critical access hospitals, which serve rural communities, from the required breaks on 12-hour shifts.

Muhm said they're urging lawmakers to pass the original version.

“It’s really important at this point that they get back to the underlying bill that has those protections; and they make sure those protections are provided to nurses and hospital techs in all hospitals across the state," Muhm said.

Nurses are planning to rally at the capitol Wednesday to help get the word out. Bill sponsor Sen. Karen Keiser (D-33rd) said the legislation needs to be put back together.

It’s now in a senate conference committee.