senate Bill S2336

Excludes services of attendants in certain residential care centers for community residences and family care homes; repealer

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Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 18 / Feb / 2009
    • REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION
  • 06 / Jan / 2010
    • REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Summary

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7119
Versions:
S2336
Legislative Cycle:
2009-2010
Current Committee:
Senate Higher Education
Law Section:
Education Law

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER: S2336

TITLE OF BILL :
An act to repeal paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 6908 of the
education law, relating to the practice of nursing at institutions
under the jurisdiction of the department of mental hygiene


PURPOSE :
The purpose of this bill is to improve the quality of care provided in
facilities operated or licensed by the Office of Mental Health (OMH)
and the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
(OMRDD).

SUMMARY :
This bill amends Section 6908(1)(b) of the Education Law to eliminate
the exemption in the education law which allows attendants in
facilities subject to the jurisdiction of OMH and OMRDD to perform
certain nursing functions if adequate nursing supervision is provided
by removing the exemption as it relates to psychiatric centers,
developmental centers and community residences licensed or operated by
OMRDD as Intermediate Care Facilities.

JUSTIFICATION :
The exemption clause allows attendants in "institutions under the
jurisdiction of the Offices of OMH and OMRDD to practice nursing "if
adequate nursing and medical supervision is provided." This provision
is unique and specific to these institutions. In no other agency -
public or private - is permission granted to unlicensed personnel for
functions that are otherwise the responsibility of licensed personnel.

This clause was included within the Nurse Practice Act in 1938. During
that era, treatment for the institutionalized mentally ill or retarded
patient, focused almost exclusively on the custodial aspects of health
care. Since that time, radical changes have occurred in the nature,
scope and philosophy of care of the mentally ill and retarded. Mental
health services are far more complex, and there is now an acute
awareness of the client's right to sound developmental and therapeutic
services.

Similarly, nursing practice has advanced significantly since 1938.
This evolution is reflected in Section 6902 of Article 139 of the
Education Law of New York as amended in 1972. Within this section, the
practice of nursing is defined in part as "diagnosing and treating
human responses to actual or potential health problems through such
services as casefinding, health teaching, health counseling and
provision of care supportive to or restorative of life and
well-being."

In light of these changes, grave concern exists over trends within OMH
and OMRDD toward delegation to mental health attendants of authority,
and functions of responsibilities far beyond their level of initial
and ongoing preparation. Examples of these include such crucial
professional responsibilities as administration of medication,
assessment, and interpretation of responses to illness which indicate
a need for complex and immediate therapeutic action. It is not
uncommon for therapy aides to be assigned full and direct
responsibility for the health, treatment and well-being of large
numbers of clients during evening and night hours of duty.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
S.2730 of 2007-08; S.3163/A.15 of 2005-06; S.2637 of 2003-04,
S.1830/A.7284 of 2001-02.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :

Possible increased cost to the State due to increased licensed nursing
services in those facilities being removed from present exemption.

EFFECTIVE DATE :
This act shall take effect two years after enactment.
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The Bill text is not available.

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