Finding a Balance between Lowering Stress Levels of Staff and Increasing the Quality of Patient Care

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There are numerous elements that contribute to stress in the healthcare setting. Nurses’ days are full of physical, mental and emotional demands. There are societal demands and workplace demands created by the shortage. These stressors can become increasingly overwhelming and if there is no stress relief, job performance can and will be hindered. When fatigue and stress combine there is potential for “performance decrements”. This can include diminished capacity to manage a specific level of workload resulting in errors in the delivery of nursing care. This can produce damaging effects on the safety and advantageous outcomes for both the nurses and patients. (Reese, 2011). Therefore, finding a balance between lowering stress levels of…show more content…
The risks of making an error were significantly increased when work shifts were longer than twelve hours, when nurses worked overtime, or when they worked more than forty hours per week. (Trossman, 2009). Working longer hours in a high stress area will always increase the error rate. Designating an adequate number of RN positions to ensure nurses work an appropriate schedule without overtime and that their workload allows for breaks. Managerial staff must work to develop specific policies about the length of work times based on the setting, patient and provider needs. Those policies should limit nurses from working more than 12.5 consecutive hours. Provide education for all care providers on the hazards and causes of fatigue. Continue to document unsafe staffing conditions and work with others to change the current work culture so that it recognizes the effects of fatigue on patient safety, as well as the nurse. (Berger, et al. 2006) Hourly rounding contributes in several key areas to achievement of high levels of patient satisfaction, including quality of care and patient safety. This puts patients at the center of care by building on the fundamental aspects of care, which are so important. Thus by checking in on patients in wards regularly to see whether they are comfortable and have everything they need can produce a number of positive results. Nurses
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