Unlike physicians who spend approximately 30 to 45 minutes per day with a patient, the presence of nurses at the bedside is essential throughout the day. Apart from attending the patients, they regularly interact with families of the sick and other healthcare practitioners, such as physicians and pharmacists. Given their constant presence at the bedside, nurses play a critical role in maintaining patient safety by continuously observing patients for deterioration or improvement of health. They also help in the detection of medical errors, identification of near misses, and discovery of weaknesses that might be inherent in some systems (“Nursing and Patient Safety,” 2017). Since the role of nurses is crucial to the maintenance of patient safety, it is logical that increasing their workload is bound to adversely affect their ability to deliver quality work and safe services.
One important result that is occurring because of the lack of staff is the neglecting of tasks and more responsibility. Nurses are reporting that a lot of nursing tasks that are applicable to patient safety and good nursing are being left out. Nurses discussed how patient and family preparation for
Nurses are crucial in providing quality care in the health care industry. It is imperative to maintain the proper staffing ratio to ensure that nurses can maintain high quality care for their patients. Studies have shown that the increasing workload of nurses can be linked to increased patient deaths, medical errors, hospital-acquired infections, longer hospital stays, and many other complications. (National Nurses United n.d. ) Leaders and managers play a vital role in developing
The nurse manager in today’s health care has a solid role in providing a healthy working environment. Healthy working environment is the basis for safe and better patient outcomes. Healthy working environment in a unit depends on the inspiration, motivation and support from the nurse manager and the management in all the ways. So as a nurse manager in a unit, the change I wish to initiate is the safe staffing patterns. Safe staffing patterns are always important for safe working environments to deliver excellent patient care. Staffing and scheduling means providing an adequate staff mix to meet the needs of the patients (Grohar-Murray & Langan, 2011). Nurse manager should know how to schedule and skill mix to provide adequate
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.
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.
Mandatory staffing ratios have been suggested as a way to meet nursing staffs’ concerns of high nurse to patient ratios. Mandatory staffing ratios are used as a way to reduce workload and patient mortality and are aimed at addressing the perceived imbalance between patient needs and nursing resources. (American Nursing Association, 2014). However, issues have been raised on applicability of staffing ratios since it could lead to increased costs without the guarantee of improvement in the quality of health care and could also lead to unintended consequences including unit closures, limited infrastructural development and limited access by patients (American Nursing Association, 2014).
With a shortage of nurses, the care and safety of patients may become compromised. The nurses themselves may be having feelings of dissatisfaction, overwhelm and distress. Nurses who may become overwhelmed with the high number of patients may become frustrated and burnt out. And inadequate staff of nurses may lead to a negative impact on the patient’s outcome. The quality of care the patients may receive in facilities with low staffing may be poor.
Nurse staffing have an effect on a variety of areas within nursing. Quality of care is usually affected. Hospitals with low staffing tend to have higher incidence of poor patient outcomes. Martin, (2015) wrote an article on how insufficient nursing staff increases workload and job dissatisfaction, which in effect decreases total patient care over all. When nurse staffing is inadequate, the ability to practice ethically becomes questionable. Time worked, overtime, and total hours per week have significant effect on errors. When nurses works long hours, the more likely errors will be made. He also argued that inadequate staffing not only affects their patients but also their loved ones, future and current nursing staff, and the hospitals in which they are employed. An unrealistic workload may result in chronic fatigue, poor sleep patterns, and absenteeism thus affecting the patients they take care of.
This is a sobering statistic: “the odds of a patient dying in hospitals with an average workload of 8 patients per nurse are 1.26 times greater than in hospitals where the mean workloads of 4 patients per nurse” (Aiken, Clarke, Sloane, Lake & Cheney, 2008). A rubber band can only stretch so far before it breaks. It would follow that attempts to improve patient care must address adequate patient-to-nurse ratios and workload.
In a different review of literature on staffing and patient outcomes, Heinz (2004) describes the relationships between staffing and mortality, length of stay, and complications of patients. At first the article paints a clear picture of the future of nursing as it starts to feel the shortage which is approaching due to aging of present nurses, lowered nursing school admissions, and other hospital issues including financial hardships. In looking at the impact of ratios on mortality there were five different studies identified that showed that the lower the ratio, the lower the risk of mortality of patients. A patient's length of stay was also influenced negatively with higher nurse-to-patient ratios and positively with specialized units and care from nurses. The impact of staffing on patient complications also showed that there was an inverse relationship between the two. Heinz concludes that the key to solving these problems in nursing and reducing negative patient outcomes is nursing recruitment and retention (Heinz, 2004).
nurse staffing ensures quality nursing care for patients and can be a challenge for nurse
Nursing is the powerhouse in the delivery of safe, quality patient-centered care in the healthcare industry. To ensure continued safety of the patient and nursing staff, the issue of inadequate staffing must be addressed. Consequently, patient’s mortality rate has been linked to the level of nursing staff utilized in ensuring an utmost outcome (Aiken, 2011). This paper will outline the issue associated with inadequate nurse to patient staffing ratios in the hospital setting; essential factors such as economic, social, ethical and political and legal affecting the issue will be established; current legislature and stakeholders will be ascertained and policy option, evaluation of bill and the results of analysis will be reviewed.
According to L.H. Aiken et al., there is strong evidence that supports a connection between better nurse staffing and better patient outcomes. Scientists argue that a higher amount of nurses on staff allows for a lower rate of overall patient mortality. The reasoning behind this point is the fact that higher nurse rates correlate with “better nurse care environments.” Patient to nurse ratio, highly educated nurses, and increased nurses on staff during a single period of time effects the environment that allows for proper patient care. If there are too many patients assigned to a single nurse it will lead to increased patient complications (medical care/ medication errors, mortality rates, etc.) increased nurse fatigue, and decreased nurse retention/job satisfaction. Scientists argue that these issues must be looked at immediately because there are “numbers of lives that would be saved through improved care environments.” Scientists also argue that the way to improve care environment is by having hospitals become “magnet
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.