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Evidence Base : Impacts of High Nurse to Patient Ratios - Research Paper Example

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There is a substantial amount of evidence based research that highlights that patient outcomes are poorer, infection rates go up, and failure to rescue increases when nurse to patient ratios are high both in telemetry and surgical units…
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Evidence Base Research: Impacts of High Nurse to Patient Ratios
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Evidence Base : Impacts of High Nurse to Patient Ratios

In the current climate of rising healthcare costs and the proposed reduction in medicare payments, nurse to patient ratio has been increased in an effort reduce operating cost. At my hospital, nurse to patient ratios have been increased for telemetry nurses to 6 to1, and for medical surgical nurses, 7 to 1.This has led to issues regarding quality of work, errors, lack of time for patients, and over work for the existing staff. This paper aims to present research that consolidates the need to have suitable nurse to patient ratios, and also which highlights the lack of standardization in the methodology through which nurse to patient ratios are decided. The paper will dwell on the existing guidelines that determine the nurse to patient ratios, and will make recommendations to develop a more targeted and accurate approach to staffing. There have been several studies that have highlighted the adverse patient outcomes related to nursing care, and more specifically, to the nurse to patient ratio. These research have been undertaken by both governmental and non-governmental agencies and across diverse geographical regions. The available evidence from the previous studies has strongly conformed to the perception that high nurse to patient ratio is detrimental to thepateints’ health and mortality, and may also contribute to the nurses’ burnout and dissatisfaction
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These research have been undertaken by both governmental and non-governmental agencies and across diverse geographical regions. The available evidence from the previous studies has strongly conformed to the perception that high nurse to patient ratio is detrimental to thepateints’ health and mortality, and may also contribute to the nurses’ burnout and dissatisfaction (Konetzka, Stearns and Park, 2008). This section presents a review of the available research that has linked high nurse to patient ratio to diverse detrimental outcomes. In a research conducted across using survey of nurses, pateints and 168 nonfederal adult general hospitals’s data in Pennsylvania, it was found that nurse to patient ration has a direct impact on patient mortality and emergency rescue. The researchers found that there was an increased likelihood of 7% odds increase in the chance that a patient would die witin 30 days of admission, as well as a 7% increase of the odds of failure-to-rescue. The researchers also reported that there was a 23% increase in the odds that the nurses suffer from burnout, and 15% increase in chances that they suffered from job dissatisfaction when there was an increase of patient per nurse (Aiken et al, 2002). These findings strongly indicate that the nurse to patient ration is crucial factor for patient helath and mortality and for the well being and productivity of the nurses. In another research undertaken in acute care settings in non-federal hospitals in Maryland, it was found that there was a significant increase in risk of postoperative pulmonary and infectious complications in patients who had undergone esophageal resection, in cases where patient to telemetry nurse ration at night time was more than 2:1 ... Read More
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