Nurses are divided about setting staffing standards - page 2

Nurses are divided about setting staffing standards Some say a policy is needed to ensure quality care for patients PETER WONG Statesman Journal March 28, 2007 Some nurses asked lawmakers... Read More

  1. by   oldnewnurse46
    The nursing shortage is a myth. There is a shortage of nurses willing to take on the liability and the stress of current working conditions. Patient care? Ha! I'm filling out 20 gazillions forms, answering phones, chasing down doctors, and praying o god that the 4 patients I can't see while I'm keeping my eyeballs on 2 don't die.
    And nothing is so depressing as seeing a patient ask politely "nurse?" and you can't stop to find out what's troubling her because of the million other things there are to do.
  2. by   Sheri257
    Quote from CRNAorBust
    My only question about mandating ratios is where are they getting the nurses if there is a supposed nursing shortage? Obviously doesn't sound like there's a nursing shortage in the parts of the country where such ratios are possible. Hence, what is everyone screaming shortage for in general when the shortage is actually a spot shortage AND a shortage of Experienced nurses at that.
    Since the ratio law became effective, 40,000 new nurses have gotten licensed in California. Since the nursing schools only produce about 7,000 new grads a year, you can see how the law has brought nurses back into the work force and, also, from other states.

    The only hospitals that are having a really hard time staffing that I can see are the same hospitals that don't want to pay better wages. Those hospitals are screaming "shortage" but an increase in pay would, more than likely, go a long way in solving their staffing problems since that's what happens when other hospitals raise their pay.

    This is why I don't believe the "we can't staff because of the shortage" argument. When the working conditions and pay is good ... there is no shortage. When hospitals cheap out on pay ... they're short. It's that simple.

    Pay them and they will come. When the pay is really good, there's actually waiting lists for those jobs. That's right ... waiting lists.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 8, '07
  3. by   lossforimagination
    Glad to hear it Lizz. I'm wondering how nurses in a non-union state like Texas (that's right---there are exactly zero union hospitals in TX) would possibly fare if ratios were enacted?

    The TX Nurses Assocation doesn't want ratios because they believe the cheap MoFos running the hosptials will burn nurses worse by firing all support staff, putting nurses in worse shape than before.
  4. by   pinoy_guy
    Quote from oldnewnurse46
    Patient care? Ha! I'm filling out 20 gazillions forms, answering phones, chasing down doctors, and praying o god that the 4 patients I can't see while I'm keeping my eyeballs on 2 don't die.
    And nothing is so depressing as seeing a patient ask politely "nurse?" and you can't stop to find out what's troubling her because of the million other things there are to do.
    ouch.

    the story of my life.
  5. by   glasgow3
    Quote from lossforimagination
    Glad to hear it Lizz. I'm wondering how nurses in a non-union state like Texas (that's right---there are exactly zero union hospitals in TX) would possibly fare if ratios were enacted?

    The TX Nurses Assocation doesn't want ratios because they believe the cheap MoFos running the hosptials will burn nurses worse by firing all support staff, putting nurses in worse shape than before.


    Nope. The TNA does not want mandatory ratios for the same reason(s) as the hospitals: Mandatory ratios by definition eliminate the "debate" as to whether staffing levels are at least adequate (not necessarily opitimal) for a given census. At a glance one can report whether the standard is met or not at any given time. It eliminates such tactics as: 1) Agreeing that the staffing levels are inadequate, but routinely insisting that you'll just have to "make do" because there are no other nurses available 2) Calculating acuities obstensibly to determine staffing only to have the calculations ignored. 3) Creating unrealistic staffing grids based solely upon budgets 4) Blissfully ignoring the evidence based relationships between adequate staffing and patient safety/complications/mortality all together.

    In my view the TNA and hospital administration are on the same "page" because their memberships generally share a common characteristic: they are not the ones struggling to provide patient care when staffing is inadequate.
  6. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    Quote from lizz
    Since the ratio law became effective, 40,000 new nurses have gotten licensed in California. Since the nursing schools only produce about 7,000 new grads a year, you can see how the law has brought nurses back into the work force and, also, from other states.

    The only hospitals that are having a really hard time staffing that I can see are the same hospitals that don't want to pay better wages. Those hospitals that are screaming "shortage" but an increase in pay would, more than likely, go a long way in solving their staffing problems since that's what happens when other hospitals raise their pay.

    This is why I don't believe the "we can't staff because of the shortage" argument. When the working conditions and pay is good ... there is no shortage. When hospitals cheap out on pay ... they're short. It's that simple.

    Pay them and they will come. When the pay is really good, there's actually waiting lists for those jobs. That's right ... waiting lists.

    :typing
    awesome point!
  7. by   Sheri257
    Quote from lossforimagination
    The TX Nurses Assocation doesn't want ratios because they believe the cheap MoFos running the hosptials will burn nurses worse by firing all support staff, putting nurses in worse shape than before.
    Yeah ... that's what they claim. And maybe that would happen in Texas but I can tell you that I personally have been in six California hospitals where there were no cuts in support staff whatsoever, at least on the floors I was on.

    I'm sure some California hospitals have made cuts in support staff but, there are plenty of others you can work for that haven't.

    The bottom line is: if they cut support staff then nurses won't work there. And if nurses won't work there, they can't take more patients and make more money. The ratio law prohibits them from overloading the nurses with patients and, if they try to violate ratios they risk losing Medicare funding.

    So ... that's why, IMO, a lot of hospitals haven't cut support staff ... at least in my area ... because they can't risk losing nurses.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 8, '07
  8. by   anonymurse
    Quote from lizz
    Since the ratio law became effective, 40,000 new nurses have gotten licensed in California. Since the nursing schools only produce about 7,000 new grads a year, you can see how the law has brought nurses back into the work force and, also, from other states.
    Alert! Alert! Evidence-based posting!
  9. by   precious33
    Are these ratios real ? Because on my unit here in my country 7-7 shifts staff is 1 NA and 1 RN,and often times we had to care for 30 mothers and their babies(atenntenatals /postdelivery) and often times postoperative.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Click Regulations effective January 1, 2004 to read the regulations hospitals must follow to maintain their license - http://www.dhs.ca.gov/lnc/NTP/default.htm


    ...The licensed nurse-to-patient ratio in a postpartum area of the perinatal service shall be 1:4 mother-baby couplets or fewer at all times. In the event of multiple births, the total number of mothers plus infants assigned to a single licensed nurse shall never exceed eight. For postpartum areas in which the licensed nurse’s assignment consists of mothers only, the licensed nurse-to-patient ratio shall be 1:6 or fewer at all times...
  11. by   Sheri257
    Quote from precious33
    Are these ratios real ? Because on my unit here in my country 7-7 shifts staff is 1 NA and 1 RN,and often times we had to care for 30 mothers and their babies(atenntenatals /postdelivery) and often times postoperative.
    Yeah ... the California ratios are for real. I personally have not seen any ratio violations in the six Cali hospitals I've been in.

    And, I've actually seen two of those hospitals staff below the required ratios on some units.

    As for 30 couplets ... that's horrible! Are they crazy?

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 12, '07
  12. by   grentea
    I think I want to move to California. Those ratios sound heavenly.
  13. by   primitive
    nursing has become a nightmare because nurses have allowed it to happen. Just let me care for my patients the way I or a loved one would be care for. But let's look at all the errors made by nurses--why?--because nurses do not take the breaks the law has alloted them. No, if I take a lunch break as the law states I am entitled too, I will never get done by quitting time. Here's the first clue----no breaks to get off on time. This tells you that obviously the assignment is to heavy for the average human being to complete. Does manangement care? No, they are off taking their breaks the law entitles them to. Nurses need to take their breaks, nurses need to go to bathroom when duty calls and nurses need to alert management in the money column by charging overtime. If every nurse in the entire nursing field did this, maybe management would see the picture. If six nurses on every shift--everyday charged their overtime--the picture would be seen!!!!!

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