In the wake of the snowballing rate of illnesses in the United States, the healthcare industry has been faced with amplified costs and inappropriate nurse-patient ratios. Various politicians and lobbyists have strived to institute effective ways of administering services in accordance with healthcare staffing. This essay explores various strategies that can be used to maintain appropriate nurse-patient ratios.
Strategies to Influence Voting on the Nurse-Patient Ratios
Nurses have remained at the forefront to advocate for matters concerning healthcare in the USA. Florence Nightingale categorically singled out various patient needs in hospital settings. The health specialist also proposed how such needs should be addressed in an attempt to improve the delivery of services (Maryland & Gonzalez, 2012). Personal strategies to influence voting will involve advocacy for more nurse staffing at the state level.
Strategies at the State Level
As a nurse professional, I will share ideas with the congress members during programs that pertain to policy development. However, the opportunity to provide relevant information should be backed by thorough evidence of the existing nurse-patient ratios (Aiken, Clarke, Sloane, Sochalski, & Silber, 2002).
Another way of influencing voters can be achieved through the creation of a network of legislative members. Through the networks, I will be in a better position to introduce a bill that addresses nurse-patient ratios (Abood, 2007). Each legislative member will be able to listen and understand my concern.
Lastly, seeking a legislative post is also another way of ensuring that healthcare-related issues are handled. Working with lobbyists will attract the attention of the media. As a result, the information about the bill will reach a larger part of the public domain. This situation will increase the number of supporters (Coffman, Seago, & Spetz, 2002).
Legislator Information Sheet on Nurse-Patient ratios
- Nurse understaffing has increased the mortality rate of American society by about 7-percent. The number is likely to escalate due to work overload, especially in surgery rooms (Aiken et al., 2002).
- Inadequate nurses are supposed to attend to the ever-growing numbers of patients in healthcare facilities in many states of the US apart from California. This situation has been caused by low nurse-patient ratios. Registration of more qualified nurses is required to solve such problems (Aiken et al., 2002).
- Hospitals that are poorly staffed in some states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania are characterized by poor working conditions, staff exhaustion, and reduced nurse confidence (Aiken et al., 2002).
- California is now reaping from the benefits of quality healthcare delivery, improved patient handling schedules, and time management among others due to the established minimum nurse-patient ratio bill. However, most states in the USA have not stipulated their expected staffing thresholds (Aikan et al., 2010).
- A recent Californian report reveals a low nurse-patient ratio in the state’s health facilities. Therefore, its benefits should serve as a reference for the enactment of the nurse-patient ratio bill in other states (Aikan et al., 2010).
- California has a higher percentage of nurses; hence, they provide better quality services to the patients as compared to other states in the USA (Coffman, Seago, & Spetz, 2002).
- Various strategies towards effective healthcare delivery include a state-mandated nurse ratio, better staffing, and improved infrastructure in medical facilities.
- In conclusion, the essay has highlighted the importance of nurses as the best advocates for change in the healthcare sector. Advocacy for change and lobbying for effective nurse-patient ratios in hospitals should be heightened to improve the delivery of healthcare in the US.
Abood, S. (2007). Influencing health care in the legislative arena. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 12(1),12.
Aikan, L., Sloane, D., Cimiotti, J., Clarke, S., Flynn, L., Seago, J.,…Smith, H. (2010). Implications of the California nurse staffing mandate for other states. Health Services Research. Web.
Aiken, L., Clarke, S., Sloane, D., Sochalski, J., & Silber, J. (2002). Hospital Nurse Staffing and Patient Mortality, Nurse Burnout, and Job Dissatisfaction. Journal of the American Medical Association, 288(16),1987-93.
Coffman, J., Seago, J., & Spetz, J. (2002). Minimum Nurse-to-Patient Ratios in Acute Care Hospitals in California. Health Affairs, 21(5), 53-64.
Maryland, M., & Gonzalez, R. (2012). Patient Advocacy in the Community and Legislative Arenas. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(1), 2.