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Evidence Base Research: Impacts of High Nurse to Patient Ratios
Pages 8 (2008 words)
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…
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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