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The American Nurse 's Association

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Nurse (1): Patient (?)
Nicole Fink
San Diego State School of Nursing

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The American Nurse’s Association Introduction Although it may seem that the United States’ Healthcare is more improved than that of third-world countries and other places around the globe, hospital errors are still the third leading cause of death in America as of the last couple years (Hospital, 2013). Whether it is due to a miscalculation of drug dosages, an avoidable infection, or even caused by an accidental mistake because the nurse was overwhelmed with numerous assigned patients, it is still occurring and there must be a change. On occasion nurses on a typical medical-surgical floor may be required to care for 4 or 5 patients a
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Measures have already been implemented in intensive care units (ICU) in order to ensure patient safety and there is now a maximum ratio of one nurse to two patients (Nurse, n.d.). Many patients from intensive care floors are originally from medical-surgical units due to serious complications. This means that a typical nurse on a med-surg unit could be dealing with one or two patients that may need very close monitoring, and due to the nurse’s workload these patients may not receive the care they need. Should the ratio of nurses to patients on medical-surgical units be decreased in order to promote greater patient safety?
Literature Review

According to Dr. Jack Needleman the more hours a nurse spends caring for each patient, the less complications such as infections and deaths occur (Needleman, 2002). The authors and scientists involved in the medical journal “Nurse-Staffing Levels and the Quality of Care in Hospitals” are all from the medical field, including Jack Needleman, Ph.D. and his colleagues. Dr. Needleman is a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at UCLA with expertise in quality of care and health policy. The data he recorded with his colleagues was focused on 14 of the most common hospital complications that can be treated early on to yield better outcomes such as pneumonia, shock or cardiac arrest, pressure ulcers, sepsis, gastrointestinal bleeds, deep vein thrombosis, and urinary tract infections (Needleman, 2002). The
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