We have long known that inadequate nursing staffing leads to nursing negligence. The bottom line is that when hospitals cut nursing staffing to save a buck, patient safety suffers. In such a setting, errors, from inadequate monitoring to medication errors, propagate. However, the powerful hospital lobby has successfully prevented legislation that sets safe nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in every State except California. Sadly, absent legislation, hospitals are willing to understaff to improve profits, even when patients are put at risk. This compelling video shows exactly how overstretched nurses make errors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGK9_CkhRNw.
Unfortunately, the authors of the video fail to recognize the obvious answer to overburdened nurses: better staffing. Instead, they recycle some of the usual ineffectual solutions offered by hospital associations.
Hospital associations often argue that there is a nursing shortage and that is why they cannot implement safe staffing levels. In fact, the State of California’s statutory nurse-to-patient ratios have shown the exact opposite. As it turns out, many overworked nurses drop out of nursing due to the impossible demands. However, with safe staffing levels, nurses return to the profession and stay, creating a dependable pool of qualified and experienced nurses to meet statutory requirements. For more information about safe nursing staffing, click here: http://nurses.3cdn.net/f83005dfafc3cd0332_evm6bn5zg.pdf.