By the year 2020, there is expected to be over 54 million senior citizens age 65 years or older. Despite medical technology and advanced medications, seniors older than age 65 have four times the number of hospitalizations days as compared to younger age groups (Curtain, 2007). Health care demands are increasing due to the aging United States population, and the present-day Medicare system is not capable of funding this. Health insurance emphasis is now on efficiency, profits, customer satisfaction, ability to pay, and competition (Curtin, 2007). Social and political aspects are major influencers of our health care. The shift of focus from patient care to a business model has caused hospitals to maintain a tight budget, often affecting nursing staff ratios. Lean staffing ratios is associated with an increase in malpractice suits due to adverse events (Curtin, 2007).
The ways that staffing models affect nurses differs among nurses of different generations. Today’s nursing workforce is multigenerational. They differ in behaviors, attitudes and expectations. Generational differences affect nurse-patient ratios and reflect in job satisfaction, retention, and patient outcomes (Wieck, Dols & Northam, 2009). Every nurse wants to work for a company with high job satisfaction and retention numbers. Stress, patient safety, and low performance related to high patient-nurse ratios are the most commonly expressed reasons why nurses may leave their jobs. According to Wieck, et al.(2009), nurses born between 1922 and 1945 are the veterans. They have respect for authority and are reliable employees. They believe that current nursing models encourages a team approach. They believe that nurse-patient ratios are much ...
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...ould fine hospitals that did not abide to these regulations. Nurses are considered the last line of defense before an error reaches a patient. Just as a medication error can be detrimental to patient outcomes, so can a toxic staffing model. “There was a 6% risk of death for patients when a shift with a nurse staffing shortage of just 8 hours occurred” (Hairr, Salisbury, Johannsson, & Redfern-Vance, 2014). This proves what an enormous role staffing plays in meeting the needs of patients and families, from comfort to proper care. Patients come to a hospital trusting that they will be cared for properly; they should not be worried that their risk of death will increase if the unit they are staying on is short staffed.
Adequate staffing models are an important issue that health care organizations are faced with because poor staffing leads to poor patient satisfaction
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