Critical care nursing is a roller coaster ride. It has a lot of surprises throughout the day and you never know what is around the corner. Our Critical Care Step-Down Unit here at Davenport Hospital has a capacity of 30 beds (6 private and 12 semi-private rooms). 2 West accommodates a variety of patients such as adult postsurgical, trauma, seizures, renal failure, and myocardial infraction patients. This unit provides care for patient that have been discharged from an Intensive Care unit, but they are not stable and require a high level of monitoring before they return in a general medical surgical floor. Lately our unit has been struggled with staff shortage. It has been weeks that in the day shift there are only 3 register nurses and each of them provide care to 6 or 7 patients. Based on the hospital protocol policy nurse-to-patient ratio in a step-down unit must be 1:4 or fewer at all times. In addition, I am designing this written proposal to seek approval of hiring a new critical care nurse in 2 west step-down unit. The above proposed nursing position will definitely benefit both the unit staff and patient population. The nursing shortage can easily lead to nursing burnout such as fatigue, injuries, and dissatisfaction. Also, nurses that work in such conditions are more predisposed on making mistakes and medical errors. This proposal will definitely benefit the patient who are being treated on this unit as well. According to Huber (2014), “effective staffing has been
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I am a Nursing Student at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a resident of Roxbury. The purpose of this memo is to propose a healthcare policy on adequate nurse staffing levels. The State of Massachusetts is highly understaffed a situation which requires immediate measures to correct this disarray (MNA, 2017). The policy will involve an audit in all the public hospitals in Massachusetts this will help determine the number of nurses needed. This policy should be implemented as it will offer a solution to the long-term problem of limited nurses in health centers to a surplus of patients. Research indicates that nurses are essential for quality healthcare for both private and public health centers. Adequate nurse staffing levels are critical
Providing the best care to each patient starts with providing the proper amount of staff members to each unit. Looking at the needs of different units not only allows administration to see areas for improvement, but also areas that are being handled correctly. Utilizing the indicators provided by The Joint Commission, 4 East, a pediatric medical/surgical floor, has a high rate of falls and nosocomial pressure ulcers that appears to be related to the increase overtime nurses have been working for that floor (Nightingale, 2010). Research has shown increases in adverse events have been related to nurses working over 40 hours a week (Bae, 2012).
Staffing needs affect the nursing department’s budget, staff productivity, the quality of care provided to patients and even the retention of nurses (Jooste, 2013). The nurse manager has to explain to the management of the benefits of change in providing adequate staffing all the time. Adequate staffing helps staff retention. Staff retention saves a lot of money in terms of orienting new people to the unit. Safe staffing always helps in the reduction of falls, infection rates, pressure ulcers, decrease hospital stays and death. Flexible and creative scheduling is essential for retaining staff and promoting a positive work climate (Grohar-Murray & Langan, 2011). Adequate staffing with good staffing ratio will help nurses to concentrate on their patient care which may help in a reduction in medical errors and lawsuits to the hospital.
Nurse staffing and how it relates to the quality of patient care has been an important issue in the field of nursing for quite some time. This topic has been particularly popular recently due to the fact that there is an increasing age among those who make up the Baby Boomer era in the United States. There will be a greater need for nurse staffing to increase to help accommodate the higher demand of care. Although nursing is “the top occupation in terms of job growth,” there are still nursing shortages among various hospitals across America today. The shortage in nurses heavily weighs on the overall quality of care that each individual patient receives during their hospital stay (Rosseter, 2014).
Nurse-to-patient ratios is not a new topic of debate for all of us who deliver care to patients every day. Only lately it has been a big issue that have caught the attention of many. Demands by the medical community for changes concerning staffing, asking for the government interventions in minimum staffing laws. Registered nurses have long acknowledged and continue to emphasize that staffing issues are an ongoing concern, one that influences the safety of both the patient and the nurse. (ANA, 2015) .nowadays hospitals are running for profit and the emphasis is not put on job burnout, stress, and endangerment of patients. Nursing shortages is a very pertinent problem, it will be optimum to have laws in place to help with the issue, however meanwhile leadership and management methods to the matter can help to mend the nursing situation and avoid many of the damaging effects of unfitting nurse-to-patient ratios.
The purpose of this article is to discuss appropriate nurse staffing and staffing ratios and its impact on patient care. Although the issue is just not about numbers as we discuss staffing we begin to see how complex the issue has become over the years. Many factors can affect appropriate nurse staffing ratios. As we investigate nurse staffing ratios we can see the importance of finding the right mix and number of nurses to provide quality care for patients.
For over a decade researchers have been performing studies examining the effects patient-to-nurse ratios have on adverse outcomes, mortality rates, and failure-to-rescue rates of patients and on job dissatisfaction and burnout experiences of nurses. Aiken, Sloane, Sochalski, and Silber (2002) performed a study which showed that each additional patient per nurse increased patient mortality within 30 days of admission by 7% and increased failure-to-rescue by 7% as well. This same study also showed that each additional patient per nurse resulted in a 23% increase in nurse burnout and a 15% increase in job dissatisfaction. Additionally, Rafferty et al. (2007) performed a study in which the results showed that patients in hospitals with higher patient-to-nurse ratios had a 26% higher mortality rate and nurses were twice as likely to have job dissatisfaction and experience burnout. Blegen, Goode, Spetz, Vaughn, and Park (2011) performed a study where results showed that more staffing hours for nurses resulted in lower rates of congestive heart failure morality, infection, and prolonged hospital stays. The same study also showed that increased nursing care from registered nurses resulted in lower infection and failure to rescue rates and fewer cases of sepsis.
The American Nurses Association supports a legislative model in which nurses are encouraged to create staffing plans specific to each unit. This approach will aide in establishing staffing levels that are flexible and can be changed based on the patients needs, number of admissions to the unit, discharges and transfers during each shift (“Nurse staffing plans,” 2013). This model will assist in keeping the unit staffed appropriately and organized in need of a change during each shift. Without an organized plan like this, a nurse may be required to take on a new admission and already have too big of a workload.
When was the last time you were in the hospital or a loved one was in the hospital, and ever wondered where the nurse is, and they haven 't returned for hours. You finally push the assistance button several times, and they open the door and hurriedly say, “I will be right back”, then you don 't see them for a while again. When they come back to check up on you, you explain to them what you need, and then they send in a less qualified staff member to assist you. At this point, you become very annoyed and frustrated not to mention scared to be admitted in the hospital to begin with. Little do you know, your nurse has ten other patients and other non-nursing tasks that they are responsible taking care of. They have been working a double shift and are extremely exhausted, and a large stack of charts that they will have to do before their shift is over. As a patient, you now become frustrated and are not happy about this; as a nurse, they are just as frustrated as you are, not only because the amount of work they have but more importantly they can 't deliver the appropriate care they long to give. For most hospitals they do not hire enough registered nurses for reasons that are good and bad. This is an issue that needs to be addressed not only locally but nationally and on a constant basis. When there are too many patients for one registered nurse to attend to, nurses become exhausted, mistakes are made, and patients are unsatisfied. A minimum nurse to patient ratio needs to be
The American Association of Critical-Care Nursing (AACN) is the largest nursing organization of a non-profit character in the world. It represents 500,000 nurses and their interests. The responsibility of these nurses is to provide health care services to the critically and acutely ill patients. Thus, the duty of the AACN organization is to give its members all the possible resources and knowledge, so that they could help critically ill clients become healthier. Therefore, I would like to join the AACN organization. To become a member of this particular organization I need to learn more about it by researching some questions.
Inconsistent nurse-patient ratios are a concern in hospitals across the nation because they limit nurse’s ability to provide safe patient care. Healthcare professionals such as nurses and physicians agree that current nurse staffing systems are inadequate and unreliable and not only affect patient health outcomes, but also create job dissatisfaction among medical staff (Avalere Health, 2015). A 2002 study led by RN and PhD Linda Aiken suggests that "forty percent of hospitals nurses have burnout levels that exceed the norms for healthcare workers" (Aiken, Clarke, Sloane, Sochalski & Silber, 2002). These data represents the constant struggle of nurses when trying to provide high quality care in a hospital setting.
In recent years, the healthcare industry has seen a significant decline in the quality of patient care it provides. This has been the result of reduced staffing levels, overworked nurses, and an extremely high nurse to patient ratio. The importance of nurse staffing in hospital settings is an issue of great controversy. Too much staff results in costs that are too great for the facility to bear, but too little staffing results in patient care that is greatly hindered. Moreover, the shaky economy has led to widespread budget cuts; this, combined with the financial pressures associated with Medicare and private insurance companies have forced facilities to make due with fewer
The broad research problem leading to this study is the belief that nursing shortage in facilities leads to patient safety issues. The review of available literature on this topic shows strong evidence that lower nurse staffing levels in hospitals are associated with worse patient outcomes. Some of these outcomes include very high patient to nurse ratio, fatigue for nurses leading to costly medical mistakes, social environment, nursing staff attrition from the most affected facilities. The study specifically attempts to find a way to understand how nurse
Hospitals nationwide are experiencing nurse shortage and increased workloads because of shorter hospital stays, fewer support resources and higher acuity in patients (Vahey, D. C., Aiken, L. H., Sloane, D. M., Clarke, S. P., & Vargas, D., 2004). Higher nurse workloads are directly associated with job burnout and job dissatisfaction which in turn causes more voluntary nurse turnover and relates to the increased nursing shortage. According to the Missouri Hospital Association the turnover rate of nurses has increased by fourteen percent in the last five years (Browning M., 2012). Nursing shortage is a real threat to the patient population. According to the Quality Health Outcomes Model by the American Academy of Nursing by Donabedian, effects of the healthcare interventions are characterized by the environment the staff works in (Vahey et al., 2004). Donabedian describes that quality metrics can be divided into three broad categories, structural, process, and clinical.
One of the many goals of the nursing profession is to provide high-quality, safe patient care. There are many responsibilities that come with a nursing career and when the nurse to patient ratio increases, there is a possibility that it may hinder the safe care that patients deserve, and this may result in negative patient outcomes and level of satisfaction. Staffing is one of the many issues that healthcare facilities face. In many facilities, there never seems to be enough nurses per shift to provide high quality, thorough patient care which often leads to burnt out staff, and frustrated patients and families. This review discusses the findings of quantitative studies and one systematic review that involves patient outcomes in relation to nurse staffing.