"Is There a Nurse in the House?"Register Today!
- by Not_A_Hat_Person Jun 19, '10The New York Times has published an opinion piece about establishing nationwide staffing ratios. It oly mentions hospitals; I'd like to see ratios for LTC.
PICK any of the hospital dramas that have run for decades on American TV, and chances are the heroes are the doctors, running to a patientís bedside to save a life whenever an alarm goes off.
Doctors can indeed be heroes. But when a patient takes a sudden turn for the worse, itís the nurses who are usually the first to respond. Each patient has a specific nurse assigned to watch over him, and it is that nurseís responsibility to react immediately in the event of an emergency.
Thatís getting harder to do, though. Cost-cutting at hospitals often means fewer nurses, so the number of patients each nurse must care for increases, leading to countless unnecessary deaths. Unless Congress mandates a federal standard for nurse-patient ratios, those deaths will continue.
- Jun 22, '10 by Angie O'Plasty, RNExcellent article, one that the non-clinical public can easily understand.
- Jun 22, '10 by Wise Woman RNI also support safe staffing levels and ratios, but I have seen cases in which, when hospitals comply with the nursing ratios mandated, they cut the ancillary staff. So the nurse still ends up with too much to do, and too little time in which to do it. Giving a nurse "only" 5 patients, and then removing the CNA's, housekeeping staff, and unit secretaries does not necessarily make for a "safe" staffing level.
With all of the patient care duties, as well as the volumes of documentation that are becoming more and more burdensome, adding more non-nursing duties is going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
The public needs to be educated to the fact that nurses are not waitresses, baby-sitters, housekeepers or personal secretaries, and that if they let us perform our NURSING duties, they will have a safer stay in the hospital, and a much better outcome.
The media has done a job on blaming nurses for everything from medical mistakes to spreading resistant infections, and never acknowledge how very complex and difficult our profession is. They could do a better job if they would reinforce to the public the sheer volume of skills, knowledge, and compassion that nurses provide to their patients in an environment that would take the heart out of many "civilians."
- Jun 22, '10 by Patient_Care_AsstThe public also needs to realize that Nurses are not "Patient Care Assistants"
Sure we perform an important function at the workplace, but we are not in any way intended to replace RPN's or RN's either. I grow tired of being the patient's "nurse" when I'm clearly not.
The general public needs to realize and understand that the quality of their delivered care is also directly related to the quality, skill and training associated with such delivery of care. I feel this is becoming a widespread problem. I don't mind "assisting" in this capacity at the moment but I am also having issues with "replacing" qualified nursing staff in the publics perception mind. Quite frankly, it's a problem that needs to be adequately addressed in my opinion because I don't feel it's in the professions best interests at the end of the day. Yes, I suppose I do have intentions of writing the NCLEX exam and becoming an RN some day in the near future.
I suppose my problem is with myself at the moment because I take exception to being replaced by "assistants" who neither have the qualification nor the required skill to perform the required nursing function.
My Best.Last edit by Patient_Care_Asst on Jun 23, '10
- Jun 30, '10 by Yosemite, RNQuote from jeb1975umm where I am employed its about 25:1...ouch
Yep... people always forget about Long Term Care Facilities, Psychiatric Facilities... In California, this was never addressed by the Nurse/Patient Ratio act. For the most part, it is DESPERATE. Of course, administrators of these places love it... with the so-called "Nursing Shortage," hungry for work nurses are driven to these places... more and more out of desperation than for the love of the work. Many of those that, at one time, loved the work are FRIED with no recourse for another specialty.