Raising the State guidelines for Staffing

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    Something has got to give...I live and work in Florida.One of the nation's largest provider state for long term care.I have witnessed more complications from lack of proper staffing that it makes me want to march on Washington.How about let's formulate a MILION NURSES MARCH!
    In the Long Term Care industry daily the consequences of understaffing mount.The rate of patient falls,fractures from the falls,dehydration,urinary tract infections,URI's r/t infection control failures,medication errors and deaths,skin tears from improper transfers(or inability to find staff to help lift a patient..which also contributes to the high number of workman comp injuries in employees),skin breakdown from inability to turn patients or provide adequate incontinence care,vitamin d deficiencies in residents r/t lack of sunshine(not enough staff to take them outside)resident on resident abuse from too little staff to monitor the patients...The domino effect is at work here.We have to stop this now.I am actively campaigning and discussing these issues with everyone I know.I am glad to find this forum.....And if anyone wants to March I say Let's Just Do it!
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    I don't know about a march on Washington (how would I ever be able to get off work??), but I do agree something needs to be done.
    I am a new grad and am currently working on a medical unit. Right now I am on my 2nd day of orientation (which only lasts 1 mth) and only have 2 patients. It was wonderful. I was able to talk with my patients and actually feel like I did nursing care. I know this will all change, and the nurses are constantly reminding me of that. I love what I do though, and am not looking forward to running around like a maniac and risking my patients' lives just because the hospital thinks it's safe for nurses to care for 10 patients at a time. I do get paid well and I do feel that there are many rewards to nursing. I just want to be able to do what I "thought" nursing was all about...and that's taking care of my patients, not the "bottom line".
    I keep hearing that you have to work overtime without pay, and that you may not get any breaks during you shift, and 10 patients is "normal"...all this I hear is considered "paying your dues".
    I will do what I have to do though to gain experience and get ahead. I just think we as a profession should respect what we do and force others to do the same.
    I, too, think changes are in order, but someone has to lead it. I do not have the experience to do that but am certainly willing to join the crusade.


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