Sunday, April 10, 2016

I'm from the government...I'm here to help...

I love that staffing ratios are being discussed and I hope hospitals do make it a priority figure it out.

However, I also hope that my fellow nurses keep a firm grip on the reality of a nation wide nursing shortage combined with more and more people using hospitals. (ER, particularly).

I work in an ED where our assignment is 3 beds. Early in the shift, we may have 4, until our grid staffs up for the busier time of day.  Or, if the bus unloads, we may get 4.  Our charge nurses generally do an excellent job of considering the acuity of our other patients before assigning a 4th.

There are, sadly, those companies that operate hospitals that put bottom line as their primary driver and routinely overload their nurses -- I won't name names but suffice it to say I disliked Gov. Scott a long time before he was governor.

The fact remains that I have worked across the country and most hospitals realize that staffing ratios save lives and so try to keep safe ratios.  Damage to patients will damage a bottom line.

But, how is a hospital meant to give no nurse more than a government mandated number of patients, fill all the government mandated blanks in the computer charting system, complete all the government mandated forms and make everyone happy enough to not have the government provided funds diminished while also caring for all the patients the government mandates we see regardless if they have an emergency,  and whether or not they can pay...though the government mandates they have insurance.?

We need a fix.

We need to all recognize that there is no easy fix.

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