When it comes to
healthcare, hospital nurse staffing should be of major concern because

of the effects it can have on patient safety and
quality of care. As healthcare professionals, we

can all agree that patient safety is our main focus. There
are many preventative measures in place

for patient safety. For example, two identifiers must
always be used to ensure the right patient is

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receiving the right treatment. Mistakes are inevitable,
but if proper safety tools are used with

every patient and every encounter it could result in
minimization of errors. Another way to

ensure patient safety is adequate staffing. Studies
have proven that safe nursing ratios save lives.

There are a series of
studies in which a documented connection exists between improved

nurse staffing and safer care. In 2016 there was a study
by nursing researcher Linda Aiken in

which data was collected from thousands of nurses in
over 100 hospitals in six countries and

thousands of patients in over 100 of the same hospitals.
The study suggested that with each 10

percentage point reduction in the proportion of professional
nurses, there was an 11 percent

increase in the odds of patient death. Another study in
the Journal of Advanced Nursing

suggested that preventing understaffing was critical
in improving the quality of care for

hospitalized patients while simultaneously providing
cost savings to the hospital, patients, and

the community, given that adverse events were estimated
to increase costs by $8,000 per admission and lengthen the stay by seven to
eight days on average.

staffing has been an ongoing issue for decades, and continues to be an issue

many healthcare facilities. The reality is that
patient safety is jeopardized when staffing is

inadequate. A mandatory, non-negotiable limit to the
number of patients a nurse can care for is

needed to protect patients from harm. In an attempt to
save money, hospitals provide the

minumum staff required, which actually results in lost
income as patients have longer hospital

stays due to preventable diseases which result in
non-payment from medicare. According to the

American Nurses Association, without appropriate
staffing, patients risk longer hospital stays,

increased infections, avoidable medication errors,
falls, injuries, and even death.

Safe staffing has been
proven to directly improve patient outcomes in California, where

safe staffing has been incorporated since the early
2000s. Patient satisfaction is a key indicator of

quality care. Hospitals with higher nurse staffing
have less adverse outcomes therfore, improving

quality of care and patient satisfaction. Proper
staffing can also have a positive impact on nurse

retention rates as nurses would experience less
burnout and less job dissatisfaction.


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