One of the severe in-hospital problems faced by patients is Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAI). This issue is suggested to appear when inappropriate care is provided for the patient. Such patients are needed to ensure the intensive care unit (ICU) is provided to people with a high stress level. Moreover, the ICU is the most short-staffed compared to other units. The PICOT question investigates whether patients will suffer more from HAI if they are treated in an understaffed ICU department than the element with an equal number of nurses to patients.
For answering this question, it is vital to consider both qualitative and quantitative pieces of researches. For instance, the qualitative study proposes that understaffing has happened due to the 2008 economic crisis that provoked salary cuts and staff decrease. It resulted in an inadequate number of staff in comparison to patients. Therefore, people suffered from healthcare-associated infections more.
The quantitative research’s results also suggest that understaffing instigates infection explosion. An inappropriate number of nurses is associated with increasing in-hospital infections, and lack of medical care results in poor observation, low level of patients’ mobilization, and insufficient documentation (Glette et al., 2017). However, this is about indirect outcomes faced by patients in terms of understaffed hospital units. What is more, it is proven that understaffing leads to a higher mortality ratio and an increased risk of hospital-associated infections (Glette et al., 2017).
Responding to the PICOT question and haven took into consideration the abovementioned facts, it is feasible to suggest that the patient will suffer in conditions of the understaffed intensive care unit. An unequal number of medical staff provokes many problems, including HAI. The point is that people should be provided with an adequate number of medical staff in order to avoid hospital-associated infections and other serious issues.
Glette, M. K., Aase, K., & Wiig, S. (2017). The relationship between understaffing of nurses and patient safety in hospitals — A literature review with thematic analysis. Open Journal of Nursing, 07(12), 1387–1429. Web.