The nursing staff is a factor that influences the level of patient care. In order to improve the level of this care, the issues of the relation between the level of nurse staffing and the patient’s condition should be analyzed. The paper aims to answer the question: “In urgent patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, how adequate nurse staffing level compared to understaffing can improve patient safety within six months”?
COVID-19 has caused changes in nurse staffing in many medical facilities. For example, Park et al. (2021) mention that in Korea, the nurse staffing grades improved significantly. The research has revealed that the levels of nurse staffing did not decrease. However, a certain shortage of nurses might occur (Park et al., 2021). Patients hospitalized in intensive care units demand more nursing time, which increases the nursing workload.
The role of nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic is immensely important. Nurses provide care for patients 24 hours a day, and the shortage in nursing staff can negatively impact the patient’s condition. If the nurse staffing level increases, the mortality rate increases, which is proved by the evidence based on the research on pneumonia and hemorrhagic septicemia patients (Park et al., 2021). Needleman et al. (2020) also suppose that staffing below 75% imposes the patients to danger, which means that medical facilities should provide adequate staffing.
Patient care during COVID-19 pandemics required the nursing professionals to have a certain moral strength due to the increased workload and reshaping of nursing teams. A wide range of practices is included in the scope of nursing responsibilities for COVID-19 patient treatment. For example, the personnel have to prevent the spread of infections, communicate with other specialists, and provide constant care, including the end-of-life one. Gray-Miceli et al. (2021) state that COVID-19 patients experienced depression and anxiety due to family visit restrictions. If the staffing is adequate, the nurses have the resources to demonstrate compassion and serve as caring companions for the residents of medical facilities.
Health Care Agency
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research takes measures to decrease the workload on nursing staff. For example, it reports about the errors in the health systems and improves the ways to provide patients’ safety. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (n.d.), it trains the nurses to prevent infection and build trust concerning the COVID-19 vaccine. Besides, it organizes the training to take action in case of COVID-19 patients’ treatment.
Nurses are on the frontline of COVID-19 treatment, being involved in sorting the patients according to the history of disease and severity of cases. As for critically ill patients, the following measure should be taken in order to prevent the patient’s death (Sharma et al., 2020). For example, vital signs, level of consciousness, airway, acid-base balance, and renal functions should be monitored. Signs of DVT, pressure sores and coagulation profile also should be considered. The patient should be placed in a semi-fowler’s position, and the nurse should change it every two hours in order to prevent pressure sores. The surfaces, nursing equipment, and linen should be disinfected regularly with alcohol or soaking in a 1% NaOCl solution. All these measures decrease the mortality rate of patients. If the staffing is adequate, they can be taken regularly, and the patient’s condition can be closely monitored. In case of proper care, many severely ill patients recover in six months. Thus, nurse staffing is important and influences patient’s conditions greatly.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (n.d.). An official website of the Department of Health and Human Services. Web.
Gray-Miceli, D., Rogowski, J., de Cordova, P. B., & Boltz, M. (2021). A framework for delivering nursing care to older adults with COVID-19 in nursing homes. Public health nursing (Boston, Mass.), 38(4), 610–626. Web.
Needleman, J., Liu, J., Shang, J., Larson, E. L., & Stone, P. W. (2020). Association of registered nurse and nursing support staffing with inpatient hospital mortality. BMJ quality & safety, 29(1), 10–18. Web.
Park, Y. T., Park, J., Jeon, J. S., Kim, Y. J., & Kim, K. G. (2021). Changes in nurse staffing grades of Korean hospitals during COVID-19 Pandemic. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(11), 5900. Web.
Sharma, S. K., Nuttall, C., Kalyani, V., & Hemlata (2020). Clinical nursing care guidance for management of patient with COVID-19. JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 70(Suppl 3)(5), S118–S123. Web.