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Increased Nurse Patient Ratios

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The issues discused in this article are pertinent not just to nuring professionals but potential patients as well , which means eveyone. The general consensus

seems to be divided into two camps ; the nurses and the administration. While both sides have adamant arguments for their points it is imperitive for all of us that a solution be found. The topics covered are related to legislation, current practices utilized for staffing , and the nursing shortage.

Any person living in california is familiar with the issue of legislating nurse patient ratios. The california nurses association has gone to great legnths to bring the problem to the attention of the media , politicians, and public at large. They even went so far as to hire a plane to fly an "anti-Arnold" banner over a hollywood event. The aggression

of the CNA is centered around The "governators" opposition to passing legislation to limit nurse patient ratios. Ratio issues are not solely a californian issue. Two new york hospitals held "informational pickets" on issues not just about working issues but public safety

ramifacations as well. Documentation of nurses working 24 hours straight and five 16 hour days in a row pushed the nurses to picket. Since this time many new york nurses have unionized to form a united front to push for legislation to regulate ratios.

Current hospital policy is mandated by Title 22 . This legislative policy regulates a two to one ratio in critical care areas only. There are such bills on the table in 25 states at this point, however many refer to staffing levels not ratios. Most hospitals staff on a acuity based system. With this system patient information and care required is used to determine how many patients each nurse should be assigned. The drawbacks according to nurses of this system is that it is based on averages and alots a fixed amount of time for tasks that may take longer and does not allow for possible complications of patient conditions.

The legislative policies discussed in this article will all require great support for passage.

The current staffing policies are mandated by two factors; financial effects on the hospital and lack of sufficient staff levels in the hospital. Unfortunately the most important factor , the patient, seems to play little role in the policies. The nurse has long been seen as the patients advocate and many in the profession have vocalized their opposition to the current state of affairs.

I feel the



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