Nurse to Patient Ratio, Nurse Burnout and Patient Satisfaction

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Working in long-term care can be overwhelming. Imagine you are a new graduate nurse putting your new found knowledge and skills to practice for the first time. Your orientation lasted three days which is standard for nurse home orientation compared to hospital orientation that last approximately six to eight weeks for new grads. The shift has just begun and already you have a new admit, new found pressure ulcer to assess, a possible medication reaction, several new orders to take off and eight patients to document on for varying reasons. Feelings of frustration and confusion take over as you are the only nurse on the unit along with a Certified Medication Technician (CMT) and three Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) taking care of 47 patients. Ideal nurse-to-patient ratio continues to be a national issue in both the hospital and long-term care setting (LTC). In the LTC setting there is no official nurse-to-patient ratio; there is a suggested staff-to-patient ratio. This issue not only affects the new licensed nurses but the seasoned nurse as well. 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. However, that value doesn’t always coincide with the employer. Instead it is about the e... ... middle of paper ... ...ort to Congress. (2001). Appropriateness of Minimum Nurse Staffing Ratios in Nursing Homes. Gregory, L., A. An Analysis of Nursing Home Quality Measures and Staffing. (2010, Dec. 21). Web. Retrieved from Nelson, A., Powell-Cope, G., Palacios, P., Luther, L. S., Black, T., Hillman, T., Christiansen, B., . . . . Nathenson, P., (2007). Web. Rehabilitation Nursing. Nurse Staffing and Patient Outcomes in Inpatient and Rehabilitation Settings. Rehabilitation Nursing, Vol. 32, 179-200. Vahey, C. D., Aiken, H. L., Sloane, M. D., Clarke, P. S., and Vargas, D. (2010 Jan. 15). Web. US National Library Of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Nurse Burnout and Patient Satisfaction. Retrieved from

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