Greetings from Iowa!
I have a project to do for nursing school and need some opinions on california's mandated nursing staff ratios. I'd like to know anyones experiences with it - how do you like it? Have you worked in other states? Do you feel that the nursing ratios have increased quality of care? Have the ratios affected your autonomy at all?
I'd appreciate any anecdotes to how the mandated staffing ratios are working out.
Nov 19, '10
I have not worked in another state, but I can say that the ratio laws are definitely a benefit. In my Critical Care unit, they are always followed except for one day where they couldn't get enough nurses. They had to assign I believe 5 nurses to 3 patients. Of the 5 that were assigned, I believe 4 of them had a new grad training with them. The state was called right away and informed. The facility was fined. During the shift the solution was to attempt to move patients upstairs who were ready so as to make the load lighter. I believe by the end of shift all the nurses were switched to the two patient ratio.
It did affect patient care because the nurses stated "There was no way I could give a bath tonight, I was running meds and tying to keep them alive." Basically, beyond medications, turning the patient/oral care, and trying to keep their Hemodynamics stable, the patients received no other care that would normally be given. No bath, charting was definitely limited, etc.
I think the ratio law allows us to focus in and give better care to our patients. I wish that there was a ratio law for nursing homes, but there isn't. When I was an LVN I had 38 patients to myself on a shift, to give medications/assess/chart on. It was insanity, and I know many nursing homes with even more patients.
Nov 20, '10
thanks Nickilaughs! I appreciate it. Any way I could get a couple more opinions? Pretty please?
Nov 21, '10
I believe the quality of care is greatly increased with the ratio. I'm in CCU where we have 2 patients to 1 nurse. I have worked in Georgia where there is no mandated ratio. It depends on the facility. With the mandated ratio, I feel I can genuinely spend the amount of time it takes to give quality care with each patient.
Nov 22, '10
Thanks! Could I get just one more? Then I'll stop asking
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