Changing A Failed System : Nurse Patient Ratios

1213 WordsNov 19, 20155 Pages
Changing a Failed System: Nurse-Patient Ratios Amanda Vass Casper College As a new graduate registered nurse, I know that when I begin my first job the reality shock will occur. I will be overwhelmed at times by anxiety, fear, failure, and disappointment. Burnout is higher for new nurses, and it is my responsibility to help combat it for my fellow graduates and for myself. For years nurses have felt the increased impact of compassion fatigue, with patient safety and satisfaction rates plummeting. Nurses are faced with sicker patients with shorter hospital stays everyday. The pressure to treat the patients, but get them out of the hospital as soon as possible; without making any mistakes is a huge burden most nurses will feel at some point in their career. There have been countless studies, thousands of hours, and billions of dollars for research spent on finding a solution to the problem. In order to find a solution one must first understand the problem. These are three separate issues with one common problem, high nurse-patient ratios. A study performed in 2012 found that in hospitals across Pennsylvania that just over 4,500 patients that died within 30 days of hospitalization, and of those 4,500 deaths. It is believed that a nurse-patient ratio of 4:1 could have saved approximately 1,000 lives (Shekelle, 2013, p.3-4). In a 2013 survey, collected by the Daisy Foundation and the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, an overwhelming number of registered

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