Nurse Hardship, Nurse-Patient Ratios and HCAPS

  1. I'm an ED nurse educator. I was devastated to leave the bedside. I left because of moral distress and that my patients were not receiving the care from me that I want for my own. During my 12-hour shift, patients were my own. The resources provided to me were not enough to give patients and families what they deserve during sickness and vulnerability.

    I left the bedside to help the bedside with a broader scope. I train new nurses. I support them during orientation and after orientation. However, as much as I support and use my voice, these new nurses, and all nurses, are left in an environment that does not foster best practice and care for patients.

    Nurse-patient ratios are currently dangerous for patients and leave nurses in the predicament of burn out. Nurses give to and care for others. It is why they enter the nursing profession. They are put in a position that spreads themselves thin. They do not take lunch or use the bathroom. They can not care for themselves and are limited in their ability to support colleagues. How are nurses to effectively care for patients and families?

    HCAPS success is put on nurses shoulders without the resources to positively impact HCAPS. Happy nurses equal happy patients. Research posit that reduced nurse-patient ratios effect patient and family care positively.

    I am a nurse. A profession I am proud to be a part of. A profession not for the faint of heart. A profession for those willing to speak up so that the vulnerable can be cared for with evidence-based practice.
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  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   ChryssyD
    Yes.

    I've been that nurse struggling to give the best possible care to way too many patients. It's demoralizing. It hurts. It's not why any of us went into the profession: Sure, I want to spend 8 or 12 hours struggling to keep 9 plates in the air balanced on one leg in the midst of buzzing alarms, ringing phones, jabbering visitors, griping family members, demanding doctors, and the whirling specter of all the paperwork I have yet to begin while some poor soul down the hall keeps croaking, "I need help, is anyone there?" Oh, the joys of "patient-centered" care in a for-profit system!

    The question is, what do we do? We keep coming up with studies and models to prove that you need x number of certified or licensed staff to care for x number of patients with x levels of acuity--and we're still treading water in exactly the same place. How is that possible? The patients aren't happy about it either, but no one wearing brass seems capable of concluding exactly what you said--Happy nurses mean happy patients.

    Where I'm currently working, patients are expected to pay over $600/day for basic care, room, and board--yes, it's a specialty hospital, but it isn't THAT special; especially when we're chronically understaffed, and the people who ARE working are on their 15th hour of the day or 68th hour of the week. Are these people really getting what they're paying for? I think the basic problem lies in where that money is actually going--ie, not into MY pocket, or the pockets of the grossly overworked aides, housekeepers, and kitchen staff. It isn't fair--to anyone.

    End of rant.

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