Nursing is a vocational tool which obviously requires an immense amount of dedication and care. As in every profession, the situation of shortages continues to dominate proceedings and in today’s day and age, it is importantt also to note the correlation between a satisfied patient and the level of nurse’s service.
According to Needleman (2011), there is a constant link between nursing staff shortages and the quality of health care in certain hospitals where death levels climb higher when shortages are of services are experienced. In the meantime Kane (2007) argues that an increase in ratios between staff nursing levels and patients contributed to an increase in patient mortality rates.
Sochalski (2004) also reveals that nurses who are overworked are frequently correlated with an increase in errors and other mistakes on the job. This is quite an obvious conclusion due to the fact that the attention span and concentration levels obviously get substantially less when faced with such situations, more often than not, panic also ensues and the wrong decisions are taken.
The Institute of Medicine (2004) actually recommends that nurses should not work more than 12 hours on straight shifts as if this were to be exceeded, the attention span and concentration levels would obviously be much less. This is understandable as several nurses complain of exhaustion and increased stress when they are faced with longer hours which exceed the norm.
There are also shortages for applicants who apply to become nurses as the job is occasionally seen as rather tiring and poorly paid.
Rosberg (2007) argues that certain staffing levels do not save much labor costs either as the correlation between the actual savings and the staff levels is rather minimal. This demonstartes that a pro-active approach needs to be taken with the nursing profession and motivation is very much a key issue here too. Demotivated workers do not give you a good result and this often results in unrest and unhappiness at work.
Kutney Lee (2007) also argues that the atmosphere and ambience in hospitals is crucial to the improved performance of nurses in their working nenvironment. This is obviously very understandable as life always gets better when the working environment improves. Interaction between nurses and patients could also prove very positive in this regard with positive results seen when this happens.
Patients react much more positively to nurses who have a smile on their face and are dedicated to their work and this obviously makes life easier especially in situations were severe illness and sickness is concerned. Naturally the interaction is a crucial part of the relationship between nurses and patients and can contribute to better recovery levels in the long run.
Conclusion – where do nursing levels go?
Hospitals should start working on their staffing levell ratios and ensure that there is a healthy balance between their patients and all other medical personnel. This is obviously crucial for a better working environment and ensures success in the long run apart from a better reputation for the hospital in question.
However the root of the problem also lies in the recruitment of nurses and a lot should be done by faculties to make the profession more attractive. Nursing can sometimes be seen as a rather denigrating profession but the rewards are great if everything is taken into consideration.
Needleman, Jack, Buerhaus, Peter, Pankratz, V. Shane, Leibson, Cynthia L., Stevens, Susanna R., Harris, Marcelline (2011). Nurse Staffing and Inpatient Hospital Mortality. New England Journal of Medicine (364:11), 1037-1045.
Kutney-Lee, A, McHugh, M.D., Sloane, D.M., Cimiotti, J.P., Flynn, L., Felber Neff, D., and Aiken, L.H. (2009). Nursing: A Key to Patient Satisfaction. Health Affairs 28 (4), 669-677.
Sochalski, J. (2004). Is More Better? The Relationship Between Hospital Staffing and the Quality of Nursing Care in Hospitals.Medical Care, 42(2 Suppl.) 1167-73.
American Nursing Association Website http://www.nursingworld.org