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Safe Staffing Patient Ratios
Pages 9 (2259 words)
Evidence Base Research: Impacts of High Nurse to Patient Ratios Introduction 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 (Amaravadi et al, 2000; Archibald et al, 1997; Clarke, 2003) and surgical units.
In the United States, there are no standard ratios established by Federal legislation, and only California State has set a standard list of ratios for different nurses and units (Brown, 2010). The decision regarding the nurse to patient ratio is left largely to the individual hospitals and units based on the populations that they serve, the level of acuity or the nurses’ experience and training. However, there is a chance that even these loose considerations may be overridden by budgeting and costing needs, leaving the available nursing staff over-burdened and unable to work at optimal. 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. ...
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