In order to solve the problems that cause difficulties and are perceived as the sources of stress and conflicts in their careers, nurses are to be able to choose an upstream approach. In other words, instead of trying to deal with the issues at the workplace spending more effort and time to handle the needless or unreasonable challenges, nurses are to approach the very roots of their problems. Challenges complicating the work of nurses and reducing their productivity lie in the flawed policies and regulations, and to affect them nurses should contact the legislators responsible for the policymaking.
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Addressing nurse-patient ratios problem, as a nurse, I would begin with educating myself about the problem, its outcomes, and the way the legislative process works (Abood, 2007). To ensure success, I would contact an experienced nurse advocate and ask for help. Next, as mentioned by Abood (2007), it is crucial to formulate possible solutions for nurse-patient ratios and outline their pros and cons. After that, I would need to bring public attention to the discussed aspect. For this, I will make sure to work with mass and social media to educate the public about nurse-patient ratios and present this issue at a meeting of professionals. I would also try to attract more advocate nurses to collaborate and join a nursing organization to combine our efforts (Abood, 2007). I view cooperation with a group of professionals who share my ideas and aspirations as the most influential source of power for an advocating nurse. Another necessary source of power I will employ is knowledge, which I would obtain by collecting information about nurse-patient ratios, interviewing other registered nurses and patients, and doing my research of all its aspects.
The following bullet points indicate the positive outcomes that will follow appropriate staffing practices hiring more qualified nursing professionals. The results are specifically focused on the benefits for the patients.
- Patient safety. A larger number of nurses assigned to one patient will ensure that all of their needs are met, and unfavorable outcomes are avoided (Aiken et al., 2010).
- Better patient experiences. Hiring more nurses will help relieve the stress of nursing professionals and reduce depersonalization. As a result, nurses will provide better care to their patients (Aiken et al., 2010).
- Lower rates of medical errors and mortality. The more nurses are hired, the less the number of patients assigned to them (Aiken et al., 2010). This way, nurses will be more focused on their professional duties, which will reduce the number of medical errors that can harm the patients.
- A deeper understanding of the patients’ conditions. Having lower levels of pressure at work due to substantial staffing nurses will have more time to study the histories of their patients and ensure a deeper understanding of their conditions which will lead to more professional treatment (Aiken et al., 2010).
- More patients can be assessed. Well-staffed healthcare facilities will have an opportunity to serve more patients and address some of the public health issues more effectively (Aiken et al., 2010). Besides, more patients with severe conditions will be treated successfully.
- Decreased outpatient mortality or readmission. Nurses relieved of excessive pressure will be able to take over more severe condition cases and focus on very complex conditions providing good care to the patients in need (Aiken et al., 2010).
- Patient literacy and education improvement. Well-staffed hospitals will have a chance to provide education to the patients and their families ensuring high-quality follow-up and better collaboration between nurses and their patients (Aiken et al., 2010).
Abood, S. (2007). Influencing Health Care in the Legislative Arena. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 12(1), Manuscript 2.
Aiken, L., Sloane, D., Cimiotti, J., Clarke, S., Flynn, L., & Seago, J.,… Smith, H. L. (2010). Implications of the California Nurse Staffing Mandate for the Other States. Health Services Research, 45(4), 904-921.