Ithas become undeniable that the working conditions in the varioushospital across the United States are to blame for high rates ofpeople leaving their jobs and poor patient outcomes(New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), n.d).This has been contributed by the fact that nurses usually attend to awide array of patients leading to burning out. As a result,individuals who love this professional and a call of duty usuallyfind themselves working in other organizations that have betterenvironmental settings out their profession. It is thus, importantfor the sake of nurses and patients’ safety that better policies beregulated, which advocate for safe staffing in the hospitals.
Anurse cannot tend many patients at the same time as their duties arepersonalized and that requires some time in order to carefullyevaluate, diagnose, plan and monitor the patient. As a consequence,some patients are not adequately taken care of and might end uphaving unwarranted outcomes. As a result of this, some nurseseventually quit as they overwork and yet deliver little. Therefore,it is mandatory that a policy that governs the maximum number ofpatients a nurse should be assigned to be put in place to prevent thepoor patient outcome.
Notableorganizations that are carrying out advocacy campaign in this ventureare National Nurses United (NNU) and American Nurse Association (ANA)among others. To begin with, ANA is caring out safe staffing campaignto initiate legislations, which “hold hospitals accountable for thedevelopment and implementation of valid, reliable, unit-by-unit nursestaffing plans, (ANA, 2016).”
Subsequently,NNU through their campaign ad labeled “nurses ‘answer the call’for safe patient care” are inviting everyone to demand guaranteedratios. The organization states that “at a time when RNs andpatients everywhere in America desperately need to be improvedstaffing to save lives, the growing movement to win ratios iscritically important,” (NNU, n.d.)
Whatmade the advocacy campaigns of these organizations effective is thefact that they employed the emotional appeal above using facts. Thismakes the patient sympathize with them and believe that if thedemands were met, people could get better services. Moreover, theorganizations have involved the public in their plan to advocate forthe change of policy by giving alternatives in how they cancontribute to making the campaign lively.
Safestaffing is a good idea that needs to be incorporated in awell-defined, comprehensive policy. Thus, when one sits down andwrites a bill that needs to be debated before it passes the House ofRepresentatives and Congress, he/she needs to factor cost, political,and social issues. Currently, nurses are overburdened with work, andit can be witnessed with their cries in various institutions andassociations of how they could save that one more life if they workedunder suitable conditions. It thus appropriates to design a healthyadvocacy campaign that promotes the inherent dignity of everyindividual.
Thereforea campaign ad like “safe staffing, saves lives” would be helpfulin marshaling nurses and people towards implementation of a bill thatmakes the message behind the ad a reality. The bill would recommendand propose the maximum required number of patients that nursesshould be assigned to depending on condition and unit, assertiveemployees do not count to this ratio should stipulate the number ofhealth care facilities staff disclosed to the public should requirethat nurses working in a hospital unit to be competent and haveclinical orientation in that area. Moreover, the bill would state theminimum care hours licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certifiednursing assistant (CNAs), and registered nurses (RNs) should spend ina nursing home and other healthcare facilities. Any violation of thepolicy would attract fine and criminal charges against the hospitaldepending on what section was breached.
Variousstudies carried out indicate that health care facilities, which areroutinely staffed with 1:8 nurse to patient ratios have incidents ofmore death approximately five per a thousand patients compared tothose with 1:4 as the odds of fatalities are increasing by 7% due tounderstaffing (NYSNA, n.d). According to Health Services research,“research demonstrates that lives are saved, quality of care isimproved, and hospital stays are shorter in other states whenhospitals meet the CA staffing benchmarks,” (as cited in NYSNA,n.d).
Moreover,the implementation of this bill would decrease cost. This is becauseaccording to Nursing Administration Quarterly, it reduces high ratesof turnover, which are correlated with poor staffing and low customersatisfaction, which leads to high cost of care as more time andresources are spent in trying to replace personnel (as cited inNYSNA, n.d).
Therefore,there is a need for the country to pass a bill that allows nurses towork effectively in an effort to promote and increase the levels ofpositive patient outcomes. Such a bill should stipulate the maximumpatients a nurse should take care of in various situations dependingon the conditions they are in. Moreover, health care facilitiesshould be compelled to disclose their staff number as this willpromote transparency and finally, minimum hours to be spent innursing homes per patient by a physician should also be stipulated toincrease efficiency.
AmericanNurses Association. (2016). Safe staffing – AmericanNurses Association.Retrieved fromhttp://www.rnaction.org/site/PageServer?pagename=nstat_take_action_safe_staffing_about
NationalNurses United. (n.d.). NationalNurses United| patient advocacy coalition for safe rn staffing ratios. Retrievedfromhttp://www.nationalnursesunited.org/page/s/join-the-patient-advocacy-coalition-for-ratios
NewYork State Nurses Association. (n.d.). Safe staffing myths and facts| NewYork State Nurses Association.Retrieved fromhttp://www.nysna.org/our-campaigns/safe-staffing/safe-staffing-myths-and-facts#.WHCYf-YR3IU