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Thread: Nursing Staffing ratios

  1. #1

    Nursing Staffing ratios

    I have been in nursing since 1981. I have seen so many changes and quite frankly I am concerned about the clash we have with technology combined with the financial crisis hospitals are facing due to medicare and government cut backs. Technology was intended to make our jobs smoother and more efficient and I think most nurses will agree it has placed a very large ball and chain from us to a computer when we would rather be at the bedside. So in effect, hospitals are demanding more nursing hours spent on electronic documentation and other JCAHO demands and in addition they are cutting back on staffing. In the many ICUs I have worked in over the years, most of them have gone from 1:2 and sometimes 1:1 ratios to the new normal of being 1:3 routinely. They are taking away nurses aides, ward clerks and other ancillary staff such as transporters and placing the burden on the bedside nurse. I have always found that if you have a good charge nurse (without patients) and a good ward clerk, no matter how bad the day is, you have a more controlled and safe environment. Many hospitals are forcing the resource charge RN to take patients. I truly believe we are placing patient safety in jeopardy. This morning I read an article that stated: "US Hospitals with low nurse staffing levels tend to have higher rates of poor patient outcomes such as pneumonia, shock, cardiac arrest, and urinary tract infections, according to research funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and others". Hospitals need to look at the big picture and take the budget cuts to another area of the organization. Keeping technology simple and the nurses at the bedside. This will save money and lives.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I agree 100% with you ! and then the ratings-HCAP, other surveys etc., come in and hospital blames us for the complaints and shortcomings... and they try to tell us to fix it..There is only so much one can do under these circumstances.
    I want to move to another country, that, takes care of the patient and not worry about competing with scores...
    Do you think England, Ireland, or Italy have this same nonsense?

  3. #3
    Member Extraordinaire hppygr8ful's Avatar
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    If you all think it's bad now - the wonderful world of Healthcare Refornm is just around the corner.

  4. #4
    Junior Member 117orion's Avatar
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    Unfortunatly my friends the number crunchers are interested in one thing and one thing, the bottom line. We are going to feal the brunt of the hammer-blow from any reform that is to happen or has happened. If congress and the President want to know how to fix healthcare they need to take in to concideration those of us on the front line and the impact their actions will have on our ability to save lives.
    Pipe dreams I know, but we can hope.

  5. #5
    What they said ^

  6. #6
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    true. understaffed facilities has more cases of poor services..

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    there are a lot of understaffed medical facilities around and most of the time there are cases of mishandling of patients. it is very likely that under-staffing decreases the quality of service that nurses provides.

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