The number of patients being served by one nurse contributes greatly to the patient’s outcome. For these reason there is significant awareness of the relationship between patient outcome and nurse stuffing. For these reason the ministry of public health has been forced to make the necessary decisions in order for the issues that have been there to be solved. Despite the urgent need there are a few challenges that have been an obstacle to the needed reforms. For instance there has been workforce shortage for quite a long time making it difficult to assign a reasonable number of patients to a nurse. The other challenge is to get a good mixture of nurses from different cultures to effectively serve patients from different cultural and ethnical backgrounds. Therefore there are a number of factors that come to play when there is need for safety patient’s care.
This section manly deals with the methods that have been used to collect the necessary information. There are a number of methods that are of great importance when it comes to data collection for instance literature review, questioners, interviews as well as well as survey. This research paper will basically use literature review as the main source of data collection. Every method of data collection has positive and negative aspects. For these reason some of the short coming of obtaining information from the literature is the biasness in data collected. This disadvantage can be greatly reduced by using a wide range of sources from different authors as well as experts. Diversity in the number of academic journals as well as text books used increases the accuracy of data collected.
Questioners can be useful used to collect this kind of information and bellow is a sample of questions that can be important in getting the necessary information. Its important for the questions to be answered by hospital staffs specifically nurses. Some of the sample questions which the nurses can be asked include:
- How many patients are under your care as nurse?
- Do you attend to a specific patient until they fully recover?
- Are you a permanent staff or a temporary employer?
- What are the effects of staff inconstancy on patient’s safety as well as outcome?
For safe patient care to be ensured there is need to reduce the number of patients that are attended to by one nurse. This research paper seeks to find out if patient’s safety in increased if a nurse is assigned four to six patients. It is not easy to assign four to six patients to one nurse in America because there has been reduced workforce a very long time. On addition to that the aging staffs are many therefore getting nurses who can replace them is not very easy (Alexander, Fawcett and Runciman 191). Availability of workers has also been influenced with the need for work life balance. This is the reason why many hospitals replace their staff temporarily for example agencies. Most of the hospitals staffs are part time in that they only work for less than thirty eight ours in a week. As a result there is discontinuity and instability in staffing; this is further worsened by different shifts as well as finishing and starting times.
Consistency in care providers plays an important role in ensuring that the patient continues getting the necessary care as well as the required safety. Stable staffing is necessary for making the ongoing work at the ward to be known. This is important because efficiency can be attained with minimum or no supervision at all. Staff consistency is important even to the practicing nurse because they can be able to learn from the strengths as well as weakness of other fellow staffs. Expertise, skills and strengths are easily developed when people that work together interact and know one another. Some of the positive aspects that come when there is staffing consistence include increased number of non-permanent staff as well as increased staff turnover.
Research that has been carried out has indicated that hospitals with a few staffs are characterized poor patients turn out. Higher numbers of patients worsens and even get some other forms of infections for instance pneumonia, urinary track infection as well as cardiac arrest among many other complications. Despite the negative impacts of reduced staffing it’s very difficult to increase the number of staffs because of the many underlying issues. Some of the factors that have led to the need for reduced staffing include today’s patient’s demand for increased care. Another factor is that there exists a wide gap between the number of registered nurses who are willing and qualified to take up the available positions. The times when there were many vacancies for registered nurses are no longer with us though there is staff shortage in our hospitals as well as clinics (Rothstein 21).
Research that was carried out by the American Hospital Association indicated that the shortages in the number of nurses that we are currently experiencing clearly reflect demographics population changes. Other implications of workforce shortage include employee dissatisfaction, career expectations as well as work attitudes. Despite the need for increased staffing at our hospitals it quite evident that this trend might continue for some more two decades. Predications that have been carried out by the federal government indicate that nursing opportunities might rise to 29% before the year 2010. This means that nurse population would only have increased by about six percent. The challenging factor is the demand for nurses would on the other hand have significantly increased to about forty percent because of the new diseases that are being recognized as well a increased health complications that demands for much attention.
Research that was done indicated that there has been an increase in registered nurses to about nine percent due to increased pay as well as demand of patient care services. Another factor that has contributed to the above results includes the weak economy that has transformed many things around the world. Despite the improved trend this may not bring any changes in the structure at the hospital because most of the nurses that went back to the hospital were above fifty years and the remaining nurses were foreigners meaning that the gap will still remain when this people retire or choose to go back to their original countries. Reduced number of registered nurses is as a result of the aging nurse population as well as reduced number of young people that are choosing nursing as a profession. Other complications have come as a result of increased innovations and technology which do not last for long. The new technologies have led to increased patient care when they are under a nurse (Connie Yarbro, Margaret Frogge and Michelle Goodman 178).
The new technologies have come with many challenges. For example patients who would have been comfortable treated at the hospital with less serious illness are forced to receive outpatient care. On the other hand the patient that in the recent years would have recovered from the hospitals is being transferred to more skilled nursing homes or facilities. By the 19th century the inpatient stay at the hospital was drastically reduced from seven and a half days to about five days and as a result most of these patients who are not fully recovered are forced to seek for outpatient nursing care. The negative impact of reducing inpatient stay at the hospital is that the hospital remains with patients who are seriously sick and in need of much attention as well as care. The concerns about nurse shortage have been raised by the concerned associations as well as groups (White 75).