Is This Something Than Can Be Legislated?
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Identify the problem/concern
In hospitals, where nurses’ workload is not regulated by the organization and its administration, both nurses and patients may suffer from the results of such care. On the one hand, nurses can develop burnout symptoms, stay at work after their shift is over, or make mistakes during patient care. On the other hand, patients feel ignored or neglected by medical professionals, lacking an established connection with a care provider.
State your proposal/idea
Healthcare organizations should establish a specific nurse-patient ration that is acceptable to support positive health outcomes for both patients and nurses. Failure to adhere to certain guidelines should result in fines and other punishments directed at encouraging all hospitals to follow the proposed ratio. Nursing education should include the explanation of such rules in order to show how nurse-potion ratios affect the health of their clients and themselves. Financial support should be provided to hospitals to accommodate higher employee numbers.
Background: Do Your Research
Include studies, reports, personal experience, or anecdotal stories related to your proposal
Numerous studies explore the outcomes of establishing a nurse-patient ratio in hospitals. This research looks at the problem from the view of nurses and patients, noting overall improvements. For instance, Driscoll et al. (2018) find that when nurses are able to care for all patients, the health outcomes of the latter are usually improved. Watson et al. (2016) argue that the rate of mortality in neonatal units rises significantly if the department does not have enough nurses. Finally, Hughes, Bobay, Jolly, and Suby (2015) state that the workload of nurses affects their ability to care for patients effectively.
Has there been similar legislation introduced and/or passed in other states? If so, include it
The state of California established a nurse-patient ratio in hospitals in 2004 (Leigh, Markis, Iosif, & Romano, 2015). Since then, a number of states attempted to introduce similar bills. However, they were not as successful as the mentioned above law. Florida, in particular, addressed this problem as recently as in 2017, but the bill was not subjected to any substantial changes or discussions (Florida Senate, 2017). Thus, it is necessary to revise this proposition using the most recent findings in order to suggest this change again.
Assessment: Finances and Stakeholders
Identify financial impact if any (e.g., added costs, cost savings, increased revenue)
This legislation will affect healthcare organizations financially, especially if these hospitals are overcrowded. It will require some of them to hire more nurses, review their current workload guidelines, and change staff’s schedules to adhere to the rules. Thus, clinics situated in populated or underserved areas will need to receive additional financing. However, beneficial outcomes of this change may help hospitals to save money by reducing readmission and complication rates.
Identify stakeholder groups that would support this bill
The primary stakeholder groups will include nurses, whose workload is directly addressed in the proposition. Patients and their families may also support this bill because their level of comfort will increase with its success. Nursing organizations that advocate for nurses’ quality of life may also agree with these suggestions. Nursing researchers may be considered a separate group as their contribution to the bill’s acceptance is substantial – their findings create the foundation for this initiative.
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Identify people/groups that would oppose this bill
Hospital administrations and large healthcare organization shareholders may be among those who oppose this bill. The guidelines outlined in this proposal put a significant amount of financial responsibility on these people, regulating their way of staffing their facilities. Some legislators, who do not support increased funding for hospitals, can also disagree with the information in this proposal. Thus, the pushback in regards to this law would be focused on the financial side of all changes.
Make an appointment with your legislator to discuss your proposal. In order to successfully promote this bill, a legislator with similar interests should be considered. In Miami, Florida, Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez can be contacted to discuss the initiative. This senator has a history of working and promoting healthcare-related bills (Florida Senate, 2018). Thus, he may consider supporting this proposal and introducing it to the Senate.
Driscoll, A., Grant, M. J., Carroll, D., Dalton, S., Deaton, C., Jones, I.,… Astin, F. (2018). The effect of nurse-to-patient ratios on nurse-sensitive patient outcomes in acute specialist units: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 17(1), 6-22.
Florida Senate. (2017). HB 875: Delivery of nursing services. Web.
Florida Senate. (2018). Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez. Web.
Hughes, R. G., Bobay, K. L., Jolly, N. A., & Suby, C. (2015). Comparison of nurse staffing based on changes in unit‐level workload associated with patient churn. Journal of Nursing Management, 23(3), 390-400.
Leigh, J. P., Markis, C. A., Iosif, A. M., & Romano, P. S. (2015). California’s nurse-to-patient ratio law and occupational injury. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 88(4), 477-484.
Watson, S. I., Arulampalam, W., Petrou, S., Marlow, N., Morgan, A. S., Draper, E. S., & Modi, N. (2016). The effects of a one-to-one nurse-to-patient ratio on the mortality rate in neonatal intensive care: A retrospective, longitudinal, population-based study. Archives of Disease in Childhood-Fetal and Neonatal Edition, 101(3), F195-F200.