Working Condiions Essay

1917 words - 8 pages

Running head: SAFE SYTEMS FOR NURSES 1SAFE SYTEMS FOR NURSES 2Working Conditions: Nurses Creating Safe Systems for NursesHarry L Freeman, Jr., RN, BSNKeiser UniversityDr. SanabriaFebruary 21, 2012According to Carayon and Gurses, there has been a dramatic increase in the workload of nurses in the American healthcare system (Carayon & Gurses). This has been mostly due to reductions in patient length of stays, staffing, and the supply of nurses (Carayon & Gurses). This has caused an increase in the nurses' overtime, overall workload, and increased nursing demands (Carayon & Gurses). Research has shown that patient safety is adversely affected by nurses having such a heavy workload (Carayon & Gurses). Respectively it has shown that it negatively affects the nurses' overall job satisfaction contributing to their leaving their positions and increasing the nursing shortage (Carayon & Gurses). "A 1998-1999 survey of more than 43,000 nurses in five countries found that seventeen to thirty-nine percent of respondents planned to leave their job within a year because of job demands" (Carayon & Gurses, p. 1). Job burnout and dissatisfaction is directly correlated to the high job demands of the nursing industry which creates the high job turnovers (Carayon & Gurses).Nurses also have other issues to contend with in their day such as having higher patient acuity, but also having to perform other tasks such as delivery their patients' meals, performing housekeeping duties and such other tasks in order for their patients to receive the proper attention and full care necessary (Carayon & Gurses). Even though these are not considered nursing tasks they must be accomplished for their patients to receive complete care. These ancillary tasks take time, lots of energy, and effort to complete (Carayon & Gurses). They keep the nurses from having time to chart, medicate, monitor, or another important tasks they are required to do during their shift in order to be efficient with all these other tasks also needed by their patients (Carayon & Gurses).The nursing workload can be measured and categorized into four levels (Carayon & Gurses). The unit level is most commonly used and refers to the nurse-patient ratio. It can be used to ascertain the patient outcomes as it relates to nurse staffing on the unit. Previous studies strongly suggest that high nurse-patient ratios negatively affect patient outcomes on the unit level (Carayon & Gurses). These studies simply suggest we lower each nurses patient load or increasing the number of nurses on the unit (Carayon & Gurses). The cost and the nursing shortage may make it difficult to impossible to follow these suggestions for the unit (Carayon & Gurses).The job level refers to the type of nursing job you will be doing such as orthopedics (Carayon & Gurses). This level accounts for the stress level, complexity of the work, work environment, and is multidimensional (Carayon...

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