- Associate your weekly materials with what was presented in the case study.
- Reflect upon what you have learned from the case study and related learning materials this week.
- Compare this case study to your nursing practice (emergency department) and give a similar example from your nursing experience in which you might have run into a similar situation.
Your reflection should be a minimum of five to six paragraphs.
Possible Resources : (weekly materials)
*** Lobbying is important for nurses. This is a quick reference resource document on how to lobby your legislator.
- Reference is uploaded as separate document
****It is important that nurses become familiar with how the Health and Medicine Division, formerly called Institute of Medicine, impacts nursing as a profession.This website provides independent, objective advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform or shape public policy from the medical standpoint in health care. Click the “Read Report Online for Free” button to read Measuring the Impact of Interprofessional Education (IPE) on Collaborative Practice and Patient Outcomes.
During this week, I’ve learned that understaffing is a significant challenge in contemporary healthcare environments, including the neonatal intensive care unit. Therefore, understaffing can contribute to an increased incidence of errors in healthcare facilities and higher morbidity and mortality rates among patients (Hassmiller & Cozine, 2016).
In healthcare facilities with high patient-to-nurse ratios, such as the neonatal intensive care unit highlighted in the case study, nurses will experience adverse side effects such as dissatisfaction, burnout, desensitization, a general failure to rescue patients, and higher mortality rates. In contrast, healthcare facilities that allow nurses to decide the acceptable nurse-patient ratio instead of allowing managers will have higher retention rates and better job satisfaction and make nurses have less desire to leave their chosen profession (Rosenberg, 2019).
According to Hassmiller & Cozine (2016), adequate nurse staffing levels also significantly increase patient satisfaction and decrease errors in a healthcare facility. Adequate nurse staffing ratios also contribute significantly to nurse retention. In the present numerous states across the US are therefore considering passing regulations and laws that limit the patient-to-nurse ratios in different health care units.
There are numerous factors that have contributed to the problem of nursing shortages and the significant understaffing that is being witnessed in healthcare facilities. This includes the ageing population, the lack of adequate educators, inequitable workforce distribution, and high turnover rates (Hassmiller & Cozine, 2016). In developed countries such as the US, the population has continued to increase significantly in the past two decades. Presently more people are reaching the age of 65 every year than the number of children that are born in the same year. This significant imbalance in population is contributing to the ageing crisis where the majority of the population in the US is older than 65 years (Rosenberg, 2019).
The lack of sufficient educators in the nursing field also contributes to the nursing shortage problem. Because of the lack of adequate faculties in nursing school, nursing students are enrolled every year, resulting in a low number of nursing professionals graduating every year. The high turnover rate in the nursing field has also contributed to nursing shortages (Rosenberg, 2019). There have been several issues where nursing graduates will begin work and then decide that the profession is not what they expected and eventually decide to quit. High turnover rates, therefore, contribute significantly to the challenge of nursing shortages. Finally, inequitable workforce distribution where the majority of nurse practitioners are found in certain areas of healthcare or in certain geographical regions also contributes significantly to the challenge of nursing shortage(Rosenberg, 2019).
In the emergency department, I have experienced a similar situation like the one highlighted in the case study where most nurses feel that the pressure to serve mandatory extra shifts contributes negatively to their performance and increases the chances of committing medical errors and experiencing burnout in the future. To address the nursing shortages in the emergency department, I was therefore involved in active lobbying of the hospital administration to increase nurse staffing ratios. I, therefore, presented the various risks that understaffing posed to the emergency department. This convinced the executive management in my healthcare facility to hire more nurses in the emergency department and to provide adequate nurse staffing ratios.
Hassmiller, S. B., & Cozine, M. (2016). Addressing The Nurse Shortage To Improve The Quality Of Patient Care. Health Affairs, 25(1), 268–274. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.25.1.268
Rosenberg, K. (2019). RN Shortages Negatively Impact Patient Safety. AJN, American Journal of Nursing, 119(3), 51. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.naj.0000554040.98991.23