3-One area of nursing that seems to be an ongoing problem is nurse to patient ratio. I feel like when this subject is brought up to those in charge of staffing, they want to roll their eyes at me or whoever is asking about it. I understand that nurses have been wanting less patients for as long as I can recall. The problem is more than just floor nurses complaining. With the advancements in technology and medicine, patients are able to have their cares at home or surgeries on an outpatient basis. Those “walkie talkie” patients are becoming fewer and fewer in the hospital. The patients that we take care of on a daily basis are sick. And I mean they are sick. These patients that may have been ICU patients in the past are now on acute care floors and are being cared for by a nurse that has four other very sick patients. If they had been admitted to the ICU, their nurse may have only one more patient. Floor nurses are being pulled very thin which also leads to nurses feeling burnt out and can have those nurses looking for a different job, which leads to the nursing shortage (Garretson, 2004). We have continued to have the same nurse to patient ratio for years now even though the patients being seen are getting sicker. If nurses had less patients to care for, closer attention can be given to their patients and the risk of mortality can be decreased (Shekelle, 2013)
Garretson, S. (2004). Nurse to patient ratios in American health care. Nursing Standard, 19(14), 33-37. Retrieved 8 29,
Shekelle, P. G. (2013). Nurse–Patient Ratios as a Patient Safety Strategy: A Systematic Review. Annals of Internal
5-I like your post. Of course Nurses play an important customer service role for hospitals, doctors offices and other medical facilities. Nurses are the ones with the most frequent, direct patient interaction. I just want to share the best way to provide excellent customer services .
Be personable and connect with patients:
- Use touch when appropriate
- Make eye contact
- Do not rush interactions with patients
- Acknowledge that you are understanding the patients desires and concerns by summarizing and stating them back to the patient and verifying that you both are on the same page.
Use appropriate language:
- Discuss medical information in language that patients can understand
For example: If a patient has a fourth grade reading level do not use every big word and medical term possible when discussing medical information
Show that you care:
- Ask patients if they have any questions or concerns
- Take the time to listen to any questions or concerns that the patient may have
- Show empathy and acknowledge their issues
- Address their issues and keep them informed on actions being taken
Involve patients in their care:
- Give patients choices whenever possible
- Take their preferences into consideration and formulate a plan together
- Be knowledgable and considerate of the cultural, social or economic factors that influence their care, decision making, and interation with the healthcare team
6-Medication errors are one of the most common causes of unintended harm to patients. Med errors can lead to patient disability or even death. The problem is many nurses are in a hurry or don’t even realize they have administered the wrong medication. This can not only lead to possible further harm but does nothing to correct the error as it goes unnoticed. A patient returns from surgery, anxious and in pain, with several I.V. lines and intracranial pressure (ICP), monitor in place. The I.V. tubing used in the operating room differs from the tubing used in the intensive care unit (ICU). In her haste, the ICU nurse prepares to inject morphine into the patient’s ICP drain, which she has mistaken for the central line. She stops just in time when she realizes she is about to make a severe mistake. The nurse did not complete her five rights before administration leading to a med error. With the new mandated law of electronic charting, we are required to scan our meds which may cut back on the number of errors, but I do not believe it will eliminate them. Technology is growing in hospitals and helping nurses to go right path and prevent medication errors, but unfortunately, med error still exists. Nurses can help further eliminate medication errors by following five rights and completing the appropriate checks before administering any medications. A possible benefit to help reduce medication errors may be to extend new grads internships as well. Education is the key to prevent the medication error. Medication administration is a complicated multistep process that encompasses prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, and administering drugs and monitoring patient response. An error can happen at any step. Although many errors arise at the prescribing stage, some are intercepted by pharmacists, nurses, or other staff.
American Nurses today-ANA:https://www.americannursetoday.com/medication-errors-best-practices/
Nurse Perceptions of Medication Errors: What We Need to Know for Patient Safety: https://www.nursingcenter.com/journalarticle?Article_ID=514523