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.
With the increasing injuries and errors in healthcare facilities, strategies must be implemented to combat this the battle of nursing burnout. Many issues in healthcare are a result of overwhelmed employees as a result of increased caseloads and staffing shortages. Many nurses are not able to maintain a healthy work life balance and it’s necessary to resolve these issues if nurses are to provide quality care to the patients. Staffing and schedules must be catered to meet the needs of the unit and at the same time not leave the nurses exhausted and stressed. Vacations could be honored with better use of the float RN’s by using temporary staffing for chronic long term vacancies. Meetings should occur during the shift and not before or after. Incentives need to be given to those employees that engage in healthy activities such as healthy eating and exercise. Employee recognition should be increased and employees need to feel appreciated with things such as athletic event tickets, lunch vouchers, gift cards, etc. Many things can be done that are not costly to the
Nursing is more demanding than many other professions or occupations, as a result of the combination of sicker patients, exhausting schedules and arduous physical work (Gordon 235). It can take a significant emotional toll on many, hence the higher levels of depression and stress-related illnesses (Gordon, Buchanan, and Bretherton 190). Higher workloads not only were related to burnout, but also impacted both the nurses’ and the patients’ safety (Gordon, Buchanan, and Bretherton 191).
We hear nurse’s talk about how rewarding their profession is but what they seldom talk about is how it can be very challenging as well. There seems to be many issues existing in the nursing profession. One of the most affective issues in nursing is the decreasing number of staff nurses. With inadequate staffing, nurses are demanded to have more responsibilities thus causing more stress on the nurse. This increase in responsibility causes nurses to neglect many aspects of their patients’ care. Patient care is suffering from the shortage of nurses as there is an increase in adverse patient outcomes due to the shortage. Also, there is evidence that there is a positive relationship between the number of staff and the effectiveness of their teamwork. The more staff available the more likely nurses will work together as a team. A new act is being implemented to help with the nursing shortage. This act is called the National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issue of nursing shortage and how the National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act is an example of evidence-based practice.
In the ever changing world of healthcare, healthcare organizations in order to be the most efficient in their delivery of healthcare, streamline their organizational structure to stay competitive, while providing the best patient care possible. This process can place increasingly undue stress onto its staff resulting in nurses having to do more with less available resources which ultimately increases their workload, has them working longer hours due to staff shortage, which contributes to an increase in the nurse burnout rates. This eventually filters down to the patient’s level of care and means less time spent on each
The research article was written by MacPhee, Dahinten, and Havaei (2017) shared their aim of study which was to understand the effect of the unit. The job and task-level workload factors on three adverse patient outcomes (medication errors, urinary tract infections, and patient falls) and two nurse outcomes (emotional exhaustion and job dissatisfaction). These higher workloads to show adverse outcomes due to staffing ratios.
Working with the available staff increases the nurses’ workload and the risk for patients’ negative outcomes. Heavy nursing workload adversely affects patient safety and negatively affects nursing job satisfaction (Carayon & Gurses, 2008, p. 1). Furthermore, a study on the hospital nurse shortage and the California legislation about minimum hospital patient-to-nurse ratios concluded that the nurse staffing levels affect patients’ outcomes detrimentally; for each additional patient per nurse was associated with a 7% increase in the likelihood of dying within 30 days of admission and a 7% increase in the odds of failure-to-rescue. In addition, this study concluded that 23% of the nurses were associated with burnout and a 15% increase in job dissatisfaction (Aiken, Clarke, Sloane, Sochalski, & Silber, 2002, p.
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.
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
Nursing shortage refers as a difference between supply and demand of registered nurses (RN) and turnover refers to the loss of an employee due to transfer, termination, or resignation (Huber, 2014). Worldwide, Hospitals are experiencing nursing shortage despite of intervention and innovation attempt. Nursing shortages can lead to longer working hours under stressful situation that can result in fatigue, burnout, medical errors, mistake, and job dissatisfaction which can endanger patients’ safety and quality of care (American Nurses Association, 2015). Hospital leaning toward the profit making is also adding up nursing dissatisfaction. Therefore, visionary leader and manager can help to resolve these issues and promote the friendly working environment to reduce the nursing shortage, turnover, dissatisfaction and safety issues. In this paper, the writer explains the necessary steps that manager and leaders need to take to minimize the nursing shortage based on philosophy of nursing, organizational structure along with the writer’s personal approach finding the solution of the problem.
Two major forms of staffing guidelines will be discussed, nurse-to-patient ratio and staffing by acuity. This paper will discuss the history of each staffing form. It will point out the benefits and negative features of both practices, describe how hospitals deal with staffing and discuss the states that have laws requiring certain guidelines be followed.
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.
Gordon, S., Buchanan, J., & Bretherton, T. (2008). Safety in Numbers: Nurse-to-Patient Ratios and the Future of Health Care (pp. 1-2). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
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