Safe Staffing Practices

882 Words 4 Pages
Patient outcomes should be the ultimate goal of any health care interaction. Unfortunately, reality and outside forces make perfect patient outcomes hard to achieve. Safe staffing practices are one such outside force that alter patient outcomes. The current nursing shortage complicates staffing patterns as higher levels of patients are requiring health care. This research article does a good job at establishing reasonable, and attainable staffing pattern guidelines. Nursing is one such health care profession that must adhere to safe staffing schedules to ensure quality patient outcomes. A group of nurses set out to establish safe staffing guidelines for on-call nursing staff in surgical departments. On-call services are essential
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When does the number of on-call hours worked become unsafe? When personnel work call hours directly after a regularly scheduled shift, at what point is patient safety compromised? How much recuperation time, if any, should a hospital guarantee an employee between call hours worked and the next regularly scheduled shift? (p. 371) On-call time was categorized by the authors as green, yellow, or red zones. Green zone was a range of 0-48 hours per week. Yellow zone was a range from 49-55 hours per week. Red zone was a total of 56 or more hours per week. The goal for safe staffing that promotes employee satisfaction was well as patient safety falls in the green zone. If staffing strays from the green zone various problems are noted. Working greater than 60 hours per week is one problem that needs to be addressed. Managerial staff should monitor for scheduling by either the nurse themselves or the scheduler that is in the red zone. Relief should be provided to those nurses accordingly. Nurses who are scheduled for shifts longer than 16 hours are at increased risks for errors. This is not typically due to scheduling of normal shifts, but a normal shift followed by an on-call shift. Managers have a harder problem dealing with this dilemma as they don’t know if staff will be utilized during an on-call period. If a staff member has an on-call shift prior to a scheduled shift they may be subjected to inadequate recuperation. Ideally, a staff member …show more content…
All staff must be prepared to handle any surgical procedure that comes through the door. This becomes a problem when inexperienced staff are placed on-call and called into procedures they are unfamiliar with. The authors of this article again used a coloring system to code the proficiency of various staff to handle specific procedure calls. One example of a specific procedure call may be for open heart surgery. The green zone for experience requires staff to practice procedures at least weekly during their scheduled practice hours. Per the previous example, a nurse in the green zone must work with open heart surgeries at least once a week to be experienced to handle a heart call at a green zone level of preparedness. To meet the requirements for the yellow zone, the nurse must work with specific procedures at least bi-weekly. Finally the red zone has staff assigned to procedures that they do not have regular experience in. As with the previous color coded zone system for call time, green is the most

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