Quality Healthcare to Patients

Throughout the years, there are many issues I have come across that in my opinion, could be improved with policy changes. For example, I think bedside shift report helps increase continuity of care and decrease medication errors through IV drip sign offs and patient involvement. However, I feel a more prevalent issue is nurse to patient ratios; they need to be committed to instituting safe policies for nurses and patients. In reference to an article published by the National Nurses United, ratios are assigned with acuity in mind (trauma 1:1, ICU/L&D 1:2, ER 1:3, Med/Surg 1:4, etc.) to promote adequate care to patients. Nonetheless, despite research detailing increased mortality and morbidity when nurses are assigned unmanageable assignments(likelihood of death increases by 7% for each additional patient above ratios prescribed), policies to implement these staffing measures are not discussed or not implemented.

Prior to COVID, an article published by the American Nurses Association found that 93% of nurses identified staffing as a prevalent issue—with increased stress and burden and decreased survival for intensive care level patients (ANA, 2020.) Implementing these ratios would include increased staff scheduled for each shift, even if that means increased number of travelers/internal contract RN’s. When internal contract nurses feel that the workplace is adequately staffed, they may be more inclined to stay and staff nurses to feel they can perform better for patients and increase satisfaction with the workplace.

Sequeira, A. (n.d.). National Nurses United. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/sites/default/files/nnu/documents/0322_Ratios_Booklet_NNU.pdf
The importance of the nurse-to-patient ratios. University of Texas at Arlington Online. (2020, October 14). Retrieved March 22, 2023, from https://academicpartnerships.uta.edu/articles/healthcare/the-nursetopatient-ratios.aspx

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