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Nursing - Staffing Issue - Essay Example

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Name Professor Course Date Outline 1. Introduction 2. Key points 3. Empirical evidence 4. Importance and implication 5. Conclusion 6. Summary Introduction Policy development on nursing needs to pay attention to staffing. Studies have proven that hospital mortality could be attributed to staffing issues…
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Nursing - Staffing Issue
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Nursing - Staffing Issue

Although the government has attempted to develop robot nurses, the scientists are yet to succeed in that front. Up to date all nurses are still human thus the need to adopt staffing policies in consideration that the players are human in nature (Roussel, 2011). Staff ratio Staffing ratio entails the number of registered nurse per patient. The ratio could compare the registered nurse per surgical or hospitalized patient. Further, the ratio could be a registered nurse per shift or per patient day. It is imperative for the proportion to be as low down as feasible so that a lesser number of patients is assigned to registered nurses. Nurses being human, also suffer fatigue and exhaustion. When exhausted, a nurse’s effectiveness deteriorates and could lead to the death or atrophication of the patient’s health (Finkelman & Kenner, 2012). Shift rotation and duration Nursing can be structured in shifts whereby the nurses have specific times when they would be on duty. The length and time of the shift is critical in the effectiveness of the nurse. Ideally, the nurse should be on duty for the duration in which s/he is able to concentrate fully. Patients whether surgical or hospitalized would need attention and the nurse should be at her/his best to give attention. When a shift takes too long, the nurse would suffer from fatigue and lose concentration (Griffin, 2011). This gives leeway for the occurrence of procedural or medical errors. The duration must therefore, be long enough to cover for the economic ability of the hospital management but also short enough to guarantee the concentration of nurses. The shifts must also be rotated among the nurses. It is prudent to spread the shifts to all the nurses so that everyone enjoys the burdens in a particular shift. This especially relates to the night shifts which is usually less convenient for most nurses. It is important to provide incentives that would encourage participation by nurses in the night shifts. The management must however consider other factors such as the age of the nurses, marital status and family commitments in electing the night shift nurses (Griffin, 2011). Overtime and weekend staffing Nurses may be forced to work overtime due to strained resources. However, this is risky and should be a measure of last resort. An overtime worker has never been productive in any industry. The nursing profession is more delicate as it deals with the life of patients. It is proper to avoid working nurses overtime as this compromises their effectiveness hence poor delivery which translates to higher risk of hospital mortality. The management should adopt the more difficult option of hiring more nurses rather than opting for overtime (Fernandez, 2010). Weekend staffing is inevitable considered that patients do not cure during weekends. Policy formulators need to appreciate that packages must be friendlier to attract nurses to work over the weekends. The effectiveness of a nurse working over the weekend is however not compromised by the fact that the days are weekends (Fernandez, 2010). Empirical evidence Research has attempted to estimate the ratio of hospital mortality to nursing hours. In this analysis, hospital mortality refers to death in the hospital or within thirty days after admission in the hospital. Research has proven that an increase in the ... Read More
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