Nurse Staffing Levels And Patient Outcomes Essay

1493 Words Oct 6th, 2016 6 Pages
Chapter One Typically, the nurses ' ability to provide safe and quality care for the patient becomes compromised when there is a high patient-to-nurse ratio. Hospital nurse staffing is a matter of major concern because of the effects it can have on patient safety and quality of care. Nursing-sensitive outcomes are one indicator of quality of care (Needleman J, Buerhaus P, Mattke S, et al. Nurse-staffing levels and patient outcomes in hospitals. Final report for Health Resources and Services Administration. Contract No. 230-99-0021. 2001. Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA). Some adverse patient outcomes potentially sensitive to nursing care are urinary tract infections (UTIs), pneumonia, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, shock, longer hospital stays, failure to rescue, and 30-day mortality. Most research has focused on adverse rather than positive patient outcomes for the simple reason that adverse outcomes are much more likely to be documented in the medical record (http://archive.ahrq.gov/research/findings/factsheets/services/nursestaffing/nursestf2.html#note) . When nurses are forced to work with a high volume of patients, there are greater risks for patient mortality, infections, and injuries. Also, patients tend to be released too early without proper education on how to take care of their illness or injury. Therefore, patients return right back to the hospital, but this time, they are even sicker than they were before. When nurses have fewer patients, they can…

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