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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 staff and increasing the quality of patient care is of the utmost importance.
Nursing surveillance, a principal assignment of acute care nurses, is critical to patient wellbeing and outcomes. The staff that is responsible for the treatment and care of patients have a duty that is demanding, challenging, vigorous and vital to the wellness of the patient. There is a large problem involving nurse staffing and the rise in adverse clinical results have been recognized when hospital nurse staffing is insufficient. Most hospitals limit nurse staffing to levels for usual rather than peak patient census, substantial census surges create serious probable stresses for both patients and nurses. Regardless of whether nurses work 12 hours or 8 hours, the question of how much workload is undertaken within those hours plays a big part in patient safety.
How we staff and schedule nurses can create an environment that’s potentially harmful to both the nurse and the patient. Ways to practice evidence-based staffing a...

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...edication errors, are less burned out, and are less likely to leave the organization. (Jennings, 2008) Producing an environment of empowerment is essential to overcoming the tasks that challenge healthcare systems today. We should aspire to improve the effectiveness of staff and reduce impairments in their performance.
All of these issues will affect the medical profession either in a positive or negative way. Nurses have the responsibility of life and death every day. So it is critical that all individuals and environments involved in patient treatment and care be persistently assessed to recognize prospective methods to advance this, as well as staff confidence and performance, scheduling, work relationships, managerial involvement and support, and respect. If we are diligent, we can improve the positive outcomes, wellbeing and safety of the patients and nurses.
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