Among the main tasks of nursing management is the development of organizational and managerial reserves for work with personnel and consolidation of professional and departmental efforts for the population’s healthcare. Therefore, the staffing issue is of high importance for the management of medical organizations. During previous years, nursing theory on understaffing was significantly enriched with studies showing a connection between the number of nurses and patients’ recovery.
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The nurse’s understaffing number available for patients, measured by full-time employees and hours per patient day (HPPD), was stated to be in reverse proportion with patient death and inability to help a person (Paulsen, 2018). Furthermore, recent research claimed that the people’s death rate increases when there is a lack of nurses in hospitals (Bridges, Griffiths, Oliver, & Pickering, 2019).
Consequently, it was proposed that if a patient does not get enough attention from a nurse per day, it remains in a healthcare organization for a more extended period. Evidence suggests that an education level plays an essential role in patient mortality; thus, staffing management should include additional criteria when fulfilling the positions of nurses (Mensik, 2014). Research suggests that understaffing negatively affects patients’ health and chances for recovery; therefore, this issue should be addressed if the problem arises.
To address the problem of understaffing in healthcare organizations, the PICOT methodology can be used to make decisions and proposed an efficient solution. The implementation plan will include the following order: when dealing with nursing staff practitioners (P), retirees should be encouraged to continue working and servicing (I) when the current turnover rates suggest doing so (C). This management plan will ensure that the nurse’s supply will reduce the shortage (O) in a one-year period of time (T). To support the primary initiative the additional nurses can be hired or new incentives implemented to decrease the turnover rate.
To launch a plan, several new policies should be introduced. Firstly, there will be established a flexible working schedule for retired nursing practitioners. Secondly, to provide guidance to new nurses, the retired ones will act as mentors to help the new staff to learn faster and get the needed skills. Finally, retirees will be moved to the emergency departments where nursing help is urgently required every day for patients to recover.
The primary outcome measures will be evaluated by the positively changed number of nursing staffing in an organization and a reduction in nurses shortage estimated continuously to achieve the staffing balance. Moreover, additional figures will be taken into account to evaluate the efficiency of the work of nurses, such as medical errors occurrence and HPPD.
The proposed plan may face several obstacles that can adversely affect the process. One issue could be a lack of retired practitioners within a medical organization or in a labor market. To solve this problem, healthcare organizations may propose nursing practitioners have flexible working hours and additional remuneration. Hospitals can also establish nursing retraining for those healthcare practitioners that were not directly involved in nursing activities.
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Due to high pressure and workload, the number of medical errors made by retired personnel may increase. Therefore, frequent check-ups of patients should be executed by doctors to ensure that a patient is given high-quality services; mentorship programs should be introduced from doctors to retired nursing practitioners to prevent possible failures. Finally, the mortality rate that might increase due to insufficient knowledge and skills of retired nurses can be addressed by the implementation of monitoring systems that can track the state of a person. Sensors and programs will guarantee that a patient will not be left without attention.
Paulsen, R. (2018). Taking nurse staffing research to the unit level. Nursing Management 49(7), 42-48. Web.
Bridges, J., Griffiths, P., Oliver, E., & Pickering, R. (2019). Hospital nurse staffing and staff-patient interactions: an observational study. BMJ Quality & Safety 28, 706-713. Web.
Mensik, J. (2014). What every nurse should know about staffing. Web.