Critical issues facing most hospitals and long term facilities today is staffing correctly on nursing units for the number of patients and acuity of patients. What happens when the nursing units are not staffed adequately from budget cuts, illness or nursing shortage, and what can be done?
When units are not properly staffed, there is an increase in mortality nurses run the risk of medication errors, missed charting, decreased patient satisfaction, and the possibility of having a hospital stay longer than necessary. These issues are usually the result of nurses unable to take the time needed to assess their patients. When there are more patients to handle than time allows nurses might take short cuts in their nursing care.
One study from New York has advocated for the development of safe staffing for Quality Care Act for 8 years. This act ensures that an adequate number of nurses are available at bedside to prevent death, medication errors, incidence of bedsores, and decrease hospital stays. ("Position Statement," 2011).
California was the first state to implement a fix nurse to patient ratio. They have found that it can reduce unsafe workloads. They also had the hospitals maintain an acuity classification guide. Keep records of staffing levels and determine competency and proper orientation to nurses before assigning them to patients. The one thing they did realize is that it was extremely expensive to implement because of the expense of having to hire more Registered Nurses. ("Safe RN to Patient Ratio," 2012)
There are three types of staffing regulations out there. Bill 394 is of state regulations pertaining to staffing regulations. The other two are reporting and public disclosure identified by the American Nursing Association. The reporting and public disclosure regulation is the administrator and nursing staff jointly establish and implement staffing that will provide...