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Published: 22-10-2019

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Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2015: Breaking Down the Key Aspects

The Registered Nurse Protected Staffing Act of 2015 (H.R. 2083/ S. 1132) was created to provide patient protection by producing safe nurse staffing levels at hospitals. Though nurses are humans and humans can make mistakes, obtaining an improper balance in nurse to patient ratios can lead to patient mortality, concerns with patient security, nursing burnouts, and job dissatisfaction among nurses. All of these elements can contribute to improper and unsafe hospitalization care and hospital environment. This is critical to healthcare due to the fact nurses are the caregivers of the hospital. Bedside care is direct patient care and the hands on healing that improves health. Becoming capable to provide secure and correct bedside care is essential to the healthcare customer because it offers the highest level of healing and leaves sufferers with decrease anxiety levels which also can help with physical, emotional, and psychological healing. It also offers better patient outcomes and reduces the frequency of hospitalizations, which is the ultimate purpose.

Senator Jeff Merkley and Representatives Lois Capps and David Joyce introduced the Registered Nurse Secure Staffing Act to establish register nurse staffing plans that utilizes a committee that is produced up of direct care nurses. The goal is to make sure patient security, decrease readmissions and enhance nurse retention. The American Nurses Association endorsed this act. It makes use of a balanced approach to decide the staffing levels. Without having appropriate staffing levels, individuals are at increased threat for infection, longer and much more frequent hospital stays, medication errors, falls, injuries, and possibly death. It also affects the nursing employees and leads to nursing burnouts, which is the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion because of tension and over engagement connected to disengagement of the job (Sachs & Jones, 2015).

In the end, adequate nurse patient ratios can be the distinction between a patient living or dying, which makes this an critical halt care concern. This act considers the level of clinical expertise, education preparation, and expert certification a registered nurse has. It also considers the complexity, amount, and stability of patients. It also consists of that registered nurses are not to operate in units they are not trained or oriented to, procedures fort investigating and getting complaints, protects reporting any illegal or dishonest activities, and supplies public reporting of staffing details. This act is to basically defend each patients and nurses to supply the most excellent care (Sachs & Jones, 2015).This act keeps sufferers protected by lowering the amount of adverse patient events, medical errors, and preventable hospital-acquired injuries and illnesses. It cuts charges simply because it decreases the amount of unnecessary hospital stays, the amount of adverse patient events, and hospital readmissions (American Nurses Association, 2015).

The evidence of the value of nurse to patient staffing ratios is in the research. In the write-up “Hospital Nurse Staffing and Patient Mortality, Nurse Burnout, and Job Dissatisfaction,” a cross-sectional analyses of linked date was obtained from 168 nonfederal adult general hospitals in Pennsylvania. The final results of the study showed that there were greater levels of emotional exhaustion and higher amounts of job dissatisfaction in nurses who worked in hospitals with high patient-to-nurse ratios, which leads to unsafe environments and the improve of errors. There is also an increase in complications and mortality connected to these complications. I hospitals with high patient-to-nurse ratios, the surgical individuals skilled greater risks of mortality right after 30 days due to infection, complications, and errors (Aiken et al., 2002).

In “Nurse Staffing and Patient Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study on Trend and Seasonality,” the study showed that getting much better ratios decreases the quantity of patient falls and hospital acquired stress ulcers. Patient falls can lead to longer hospitalizations and greater complications, and hospital acquired pressure ulcers can lead to infection, sepsis, and longer hospitalizations. Having a lot more nurses increases the availability to be capable to turn and reposition individuals to avert stress ulcers, and it also increases the availability of nurses to be able to bring sufferers to the bathroom and answer call bells in a more efficient manner to stop falls (He, Staggs, Bergquist-Beringer, & Dunton, 2016).

In “Nurse Staffing Is an Crucial Strategy to Prevent Medication Errors in Community Hospitals,” the study carried out showed that the most widespread medication errors had been dose omissions, improper doses, and failure to comply with protocols. Dose omissions were most probably due to function overload and the wrong doses have been most most likely due to knowledge deficients of wellness care providers. Their findings showed that the nursing staff is an critical part to avoid medication errors. When the hospitals had a greater amount of registered nurses, there was a reduce in the quantity of medication errors. When there was a lower in the amount of registered nurses, there was an boost in the amount of medication errors. Medication errors lead to unnecessary hospital expenditures and puts sufferers in danger of complications, essential hospitalizations, permanent damage, interventions to avoid harm or death, monitoring, or death (Frith, Anderson, Tseng, & Fong, 2012).

In “Missed Nursing Care is Linked to Patient Satisfaction: A Cross-Sectional Study of US Hospitals,” the research showed that on typical, nurses miss 2.7 of 12 of the needed activities of care per shift. This largely consisted of missing the opportunity to comfort and speak to patients and to update and develop care plans, but it also consisted of not getting able to teach or consul patients and their families, give oral hygiene, adequately document care or round on individuals, supply appropriate skin care, administer drugs on time, prepare patients and their families for discharge, supply adequate pain management, coordinate patient care, and preform treatment options and procedures. All of these issues are critical to the healing method for patients. Although in this study it did not lead to death, it leaves open the possibility of undesirable outcomes and readmissions into the hospital. Understaffing nurses leaves tasks undone because of the inability to preform almost everything in on shift because of the larger quantity of individuals for each nurse (Lake, Germack, & Viscardi, 2016).

Although there are many rewards to this act, there are a few issues with regulating nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. The 1st issue is that there are many variables that have an effect on patient outcomes and staffing. The complexity of the unit, the amount of care a patient requirements based on their situation and complexity of their condition, the census of the unit, the experience of the employees, and whether other nurses like nurse educators and charge nurses are assigned patients all are impacted by a nurse-to-patient ratio. Yet another problem is the inability to measure the operate a nurse contributes. Things like admissions, sufferers leaving the unit, discharges, and sufferers transferring from other units affect the patient flow which can imply that nurses are caring or carrying out work for far more individuals every day than what is reflected in how many hours a nurse operates per patient each and every day or in the ratio. Economic aspects also come into play. There could be a lower in the amount of other staff positions, like patient care associates, which would burden nurses and generate the opposite impact of the goal of the ratio (Hertel, 2011).Even with the possibility of these unfavorable aspects, having an sufficient nurse to patient ratio makes it possible for nurses to give more detailed care because they have the time to. This care would support sufferers heal physically and emotionally and avoid complications.

The difficulties that this analysis identifies is that inadequate nurse to patient ratios create unsafe environments for each parties. My proposed resolution for this problem is that all states and institutions adopt more strict and safer nurse to patient ratios and stick to these ratios no matter what. This also consists of other members of the healthcare group, like patient care associates, case managers, social workers, nurses, and nurse managers. My remedy is not anything that is not already designed, but anything that wants to be further deemed and maintained in a stricter manner simply because adverse patient events need to in no way take place. This situation matters because the hospital need to be a secure location for individuals to heal and a protected spot for nurses and the healthcare team to operate in. Improper nurse-to-patient ratio impacts individuals and their care in unfavorable ways, so adequate nursing-to-patient ratios are needed to make certain safety and quality of care.
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