I am new to the site and I am hoping I can get some help... I am still in nursing school
and we were given an assignment on acuity. I would like to know how it works exactly... all I am getting is that it isn't very successful. Can someone please explain its definition and how it works?
Jan 12, '05
You may want to post this question as a separate post in the general nursing forum. You may get faster and better answers regarding "acuity". In fact, I really encourage you to do that. It refers to the sum environmental total of "acute" patients needs which need to be addressed and how much nurse power is required to address those needs. Folks in management and number crunchers have come up with formulas to spit out ratios...numbers to reflect this and to staff accordingly. Where it falls short is that a number fails to capture the beast of it alot of the time. Many of these formulas put in the "number" of patients in question to be served. Any seasoned nurse can tell you that the "acuity" or acute needs may be exactly the same if not higher for a few patients compared to alot more patients. It doesn't take in account "new" acute needs as they suddenly appear. It doesn't reflect the "new" admit. It doesn't reflect the time spent communicating with docs, other departments and families. It doesn't reflect the psychological, emotional, or spiritual needs of the patient "and" family (multiple this by how many patients you may have) which can be just as acute and time consuming. In the long and short of it, acuity constantly changes...even if you have the same exact patients for several days. Numbers can't reflect this...but we are held, quite often, as if they are and remain constant, which they don't. I don't know if this answers the question. But, if you are out on the floor, quite often a nurse can sense in his/her gut if the acuity is high or low. Sometimes, a nurse knows this coming right out of report and sensing the environent, even before seeing patients.
I wish the best for you. Post this in the general nurses forum and obtain others feedback.
Welcome to allnurses!!!!!!!!!!!!
Last edit by Thunderwolf on Jan 12, '05