Patient Care Problem

Patient Care Problem

Several issues affect how care is provided within healthcare, especially because of the growing numbers of people with complex and serious medical problems. Accessing quality care is essential for sustaining and restoring the health and functioning of many people with complex medical problems within the United States. One of the major healthcare problems today that can affect how care is provided is the nurse-to-patient ratio. According to Sharma and Rani (2020), the ratio of nurses to patients is an ongoing topic of discussion worldwide and benefits both patients and nurses.

It is also stated by Sharma and Rani (2020) that a good ratio of nurses to patients can help achieve both clinical and economic goals within the department of patient care. Notably, it is associated with an increase in satisfaction, a reduction in cases of falls, and reduced medical errors and healthcare-associated infections.

It also helps reduce patient mortality, the rate of readmissions, and the period of stay within the hospitals. Most importantly, an appropriate ratio is crucial in reducing the cost of patient care, fatigue among nurses, and burnout. Therefore, this paper provides a short analysis of this problem, the regulatory and policy agencies involved, and identify the organizational budgets affected by the issue. The paper also explains how the budget will be affected by the problem.

Nurse Leaders

            Nurse leaders have different and essential roles to play in providing a solution for such a problem. It is important to understand the fact that nurse leaders are required to have skills not only from their experiences within the healthcare settings but also from other fields like healthcare policies, economics, governance, and strategies.

Within the problem of an inappropriate ratio of nurses to patients, nurse leaders are responsible for providing information regarding practices of care, organizational policies, and the needs of different departments within the healthcare system. Thus, nurses must have a range of skills and knowledge to help find a solution to this problem effectively. Notably, they must have skills in the process of problem-solving, change management, and analysis of the organization.

Chen et al. (2019) state that when it comes to the problem involving the patient-nurse ratio, the leaders are not only supposed to deal with numbers but also ensure that the best nurses render the best care to the patients. Nurse leaders must advocate for their fellow nurses and their needs. Nurse leaders can help solve these problems by revisiting the topic of nurse-to-patient ratios regularly. Most importantly, they can use a flexible staffing model that changes in response to the needs of the facility or unit.

The problem of an inappropriate ratio of patients to nurses will continue to be a problem if an immediate solution is not found. Notably, this ratio can result in stress as well as high levels of burnout because the healthcare system is continually being strained with the healthcare needs of older people within the nation. It is important to note the fact that policymakers are responsible for finding the solution to some problems related to inappropriate nurse-patient ratios (Chen et al., 2019).

They are better positioned to address the problem of nursing shortages within the United States. The federal agencies and the two houses in the United States are responsible for formulating policies ensuring enough registered nurses within the healthcare settings. Therefore, they are responsible for finding a solution to the problem being discussed in this paper.

Whenever healthcare facilities have a low number of nurses, the welfare of the patients is likely to be compromised. Moreover, the issues of nurse burnout could lead to overlooking the details and not fully engaging with the patients, which leaves the patients feeling dissatisfied with their performance. Budget cuts and nurses reaching retirement age are reasons understaffing occurs within the healthcare systems. It is important to note that staffing is essential in providing a competitive advantage to healthcare organizations.

Staffing is also important for good financial performance in competitive markets. Notably, costs have mostly driven the healthcare system within the United States. According to Rosenberg (2019), the costs are constantly rising within the United States healthcare system, and reimbursement is declining. Also, healthcare is considered to be a business in the United States hence nurses need to be fiscally savvy.

Therefore, the shortage of nurses is a problem associated with the healthcare system’s labour budget. It is essential to state that these costs are still rising, but a shortage of nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals remains to be a problem within the nation. Many organizations have been resolving to cut the labour budget with the intention of reducing the operating expenses that may lead to nurse shortages.

The problem of nurse shortage has been affecting the healthcare system within the United States for a very long period. This problem mainly interferes with the process of service delivery hence the lack of satisfaction by the patients. It is important to understand the fact that providing a solution to this problem means an increase in the labour budgets of the healthcare system.

An increase in this budget can heavily weigh on the entire organization’s financial system. In most cases, the acute care hospital market environment is associated with competition for nurses and other healthcare professionals. Therefore, the healthcare organizations within these markets are expected to operate with differentiated service levels and the care quality their workforce can provide.

However, these organizations face challenges related to the competition for critical resources around the nation. On the other hand, it is notable that cases of increase in labour budgets and competitive markets can have a positive impact on the financial performance of the organization. In such cases, the organization will likely gain more overall profit. Furthermore, dealing with this issue will imply increasing the labour budget and increasing the organisation’s overall expenses.

In conclusion, the ratio of nurses to patients has presented some adverse problems within the healthcare system. This problem has led reduced level of satisfaction among the patients visiting healthcare organizations within the United States. Furthermore, nurses face different challenges, including high burnout levels, because of the same problem. Nurse leaders can help deal with this issue mainly by advocating for the patients and fellow workmates. Addressing this problem can lead to increased spending within the healthcare system, but in competitive markets, it can help increase profits in the same setting.

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Chen, Y. C., Guo, Y. L., Chin, W. S., Cheng, N. Y., Ho, J. J., & Shiao, J. S. (2019). Patient-Nurse Ratio is Related to Nurses’ Intention to Leave Their Job through Mediating Factors of Burnout and Job Dissatisfaction. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(23), 4801.

Sharma, S. K., & Rani, R. (2020). Nurse-to-patient ratio and nurse staffing norms for hospitals in India: A critical analysis of national benchmarks. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 9(6), 2631–2637.

Vogenberg F. R. (2019). US Healthcare Trends and Contradictions in 2019. American health & drug benefits, 12(1), 40–47.

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