Fora long time, there has been challenges in regard to nursing staffingeven in the best run health care institutions. Research in the lastdecades have shown that adequate number of registered nurses isdirectly proportional to the achievement of good patients outcomes,satisfaction and the most important of all, safety (Sackett et al,2000). The absence of this means inappropriate nursing staffingmethods have been employed. This in return has adverse effects to thehospital in question. There is therefore a need to improve on theissue of nursing staffing by use of appropriate methods such asevidence based project. This paper presents a study on inappropriatenursing staffing and its adverse effects to the hospitals.
Accordingto the ANA’s principles of staffing, (2012) appropriate nursingstaffing is simply matching a registered nurse expertise with theneeds of the patient who is receiving the nursing care servicesaccording to the practice setting and situation. The ability toprovide appropriate nurse staffing is important in the realization ofsafe and quality results. This is possible through dynamic decisionmaking procedures that should incorporate a wide range of variables.Nursing staffing ideally presents the set of a day’s operationsfunctions in which the appointed person assesses and identifies theshift to shift ratio of nurses to that of the patients to make surethat there is enough staffing in each shift and unit (Linda et al,2012). This staffing may be centralized or decentralized whereby inthe centralized staffing a particular department is responsible forthe staffing of all units whereas in the decentralized staffing unitleaders are tasked with the responsibility of determining the levelof staffing that is required before and after a shift basing on anumber of multiple factors. The absence of this results ininappropriate nursing staffing. Inappropriate nursing staffing hasadversely affected the operations of hospitals.
Effectsof inappropriate nursing staffing to hospitals
Fora hospital to run its operations smoothly, it needs to haveappropriate nursing staffing. Inappropriate nursing staffing is as aresult of inadequate number of nurses in a certain hospital resultingto heavy work load. This increased work load to be provided by thefew nurses results in high pressure, stress, high levels of burn out,and loss of job satisfaction (Linda et al, 2012). As a result, suchnurses are unlikely to perform what is expected of them diligently.As the pressure increases from the overwhelming duties they aresupposed to undertake, most nurses end up leaving work and onlyworsening the already difficult situation. This implies that thehospital will experience more difficulties in carrying out itsoperations because of lack of enough nurses who play an importantrole in the operation of hospitals.
Hospitalswith inappropriate nursing staffing experience high mortality rates.The effect of an increase in the workload of the nurses by subjectingthem to higher ratio of patients can result to an increase in themortality rate. These nurses will not be in a position to undertaketheir duties diligently as in the cases where a nurse is attending toa lesser number of patients. Again, such inappropriate staffing doesnot take into consideration the expertise area of the nurse. A nurseis allocated patients anyhow because of the insufficient number ofnurses. This increases mortality rates because a nurse may not be ain a position to understand how a certain condition ought to behandled. This workload also leads to loss of morale and work burn outwhich could lead to reluctance in work by the nurses thus increasingmortality rate.
Aboveare some of the effects that hospitals experience in cases wherethere is inappropriate nursing staffing. This problem could be solvedby application of evidence based projects. This is simply the use ofcurrent evidence when making decisions regarding the care ofpatients. This method will in turn enable the medical practitioner toevaluate research as well as clinical guidelines and other importantinformation basing on quality finds and thud diligence in theapplication of the results into practice. The nurses should alsounderstand their role in hospitals. This will ensure that themanagement of the hospital does not overwhelm them with duties whichcompromise their working environment and thus work output.
AmericanNurses Association. (2012). ANA’sPrinciples for Nurse Staffing.2nd ed. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association
Linda,H. Et al. (2012). “The effects of nurse staffing and nurseeducation on patient deaths in hospitals with different nurse workenvironments”. NIHpublic access. Vol.42
Sackett,D. et al. (2000). Evidencebased medicine: How to practice and Teach EMB. Edinburgh:Churchill Livingstone