The economic impact on healthcare has taken its toll on the number of registered nurses providing bedside care to patients, compromising patient safety and dramatically increasing the potential for negative outcomes. Several factors have immensely contributed to the nursing shortages over the years, including healthcare organizations downsizing, increased workloads, inadequate staffing plans and job dissatisfaction. Mandated nurse-to-patient staffing ratios have been implemented in several states to date with many more trying to pass some type of legislation. Have these ratios affected the quality of care or is it more realistic to create staffing committees that are based on each unit’s unique situation and varying requirements? Skyrocketing medical costs are some of the challenges being faced by hospitals today and among their major expenses are nursing labor costs.
Hospital understaffing nurses increases the workload and the patient-to-nurses ratio makes a difference in patient outcome. In hospital with high patient-to-nurse ratios, surgical patient experience higher risk and failure-to-rescue rates and nurses are more likely to experience burnout and dissatisfaction. Nurses nationwide consistently report that hospital staffing levels are inadequate to provide safe and effective care (Cimiotti et al., 2012). In 2004, California was the first state to implement minimum patient-to-nurse staffing ratios. The legislation was motivated by an increasing hospital nursing shortage and perception that lower nurse retention in hospital practice was related to burdensome workloads and high level of job dissatisfaction.
New nurses are not being properly trained, and old nurses are on their way to retirement. All the while the rate of patient admissions is on the rise. Nurses are reporting lower satisfaction in their job positions and hospital retention rates are at an all-time low, conversely this is affecting all patients’ quality of care. As stated in the article Addressing The Nurse Shortage To Improve The Quality Of Patient Care “According to an Institute of Medicine report, Nurses are the largest group of health care professionals providing direct patient care in hospitals, and the quality of care for hospital patients is strongly linked to the performance of nursing staff”. The nurse to patient ratio is unrealistic in many hospitals.
Nurse staffing and inpatient hospital mortality. New England Journal of Medicine, 364, 1037-1045. Purcell, S.R., Kutash, M., & Cobb, S. (2011). The relationship between nurses’ stress and nurse staffing factors in a hospital setting. Journal of Nursing Management, 19, 714-720.
Many nurses face the issue of understaffing and having too much of a workload during one shift. When a unit is understaffed not only do the nurses get burnt out, but the patients also don’t receive the care they deserve. The nurse-patient ratio is an aspect that gets overlooked in many facilities that could lead to possible devastating errors. Nurse- patient ratio issues have been a widely studied topic and recently new changes have been made to improve the problem. Identifying and maintaining the appropriate number of mixed nursing staff, RN/LPN/CNA, is critical to the delivery of quality patient care.
Therefore, nursing interventions play a pivotal role in preventing patient injury related to hospital falls (Johnson et al. 2011). Unfortunately, the danger of falling rises with age and enormously affect one third of older people with ravages varying from minimal injury to incapacities, which may lead to premature death (Johnson et al. 2011). In addition, to the detrimental impacts on patient falls consequently affect the patient’s family members, care providers, and the health organization emotionally as well as financially (Ang et al.
Recently, there has been controversial debates as to whether heavy workloads are detrimental to patients. The federal, state, and local government regulates many aspects of healthcare. However, it is the physicians, nurses and other healthcare professional that provide care directly to patients. Consequently, does insufficient staffing, heavy workloads, and unsupportive work environment directly contribute to poor patient satisfaction, nurse burnout, high turnover and job dissatisfaction? In nursing school, nurses are taught to apply the nursing process to administer care safely and effectively.
• Inadequate staffing and heavy workloads for nurses impact patient safety. Nurse shortage is the leading cause for medical errors. • Patients face a 7% greater likelihood of death for every patient above four assigned to a particular
A nurse’s job is very stressful and can cause nurses to become fatigue, and dislike their current jobs; nurses are prone to making mistakes and medical errors (ANA, 2014). Nursing shortage and nursing turnover can deeply affect the future care of a patient and the concord in the healthcare system. Healthcare facilities take awareness of the situation among nurses and chose to carry out the situation in specific ways. Contributing Factors to Nursing Shortage Nursing shortage is a crisis in hospitals nationwide. The main contributing factors on the current shortage are the steep population growth resulting in a growing need for health care services, a diminishing pipeline of new nursing students, and an aging nursing workforce (Honor Society of Nursing, 2013).
Graduate nurses are not being hired in the ICU because of the lack of experience, so the majority of staff in the ICU are senior staff. Because of this, there may be a shortage of staff. Furthermore, leading to increased risk of burnout in the nurses of the critical care setting. There may be more pressure on the ICU staff in Yorkton as they may be of the highest trained nursing staff within the hospital. They may have increased pressure on them, as they may be responsible for stabilizing the critically ill patient.