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Discussion Board 6 health policy Staffing Regulations 1. In your assigned readings for this module, it is not clear whether the California staffing regulations have improved patient outcomes. Studies do show that nurse satisfaction has improved and nurses perceive they are providing better care. Is improving nurse satisfaction a sufficient reason to establish regulation as done in California? Why or Why not? As of 2017 California is still the only state to have a safe patient ratio law. This bill took effect in January 2004, and when it did many in healthcare hoped that other states would also adopt similar laws. As of December 2015, 14 states (CA, CT, IL, MA, MN, NV, NJ, NY, OH, OR, RI, TX, VT, WA) have enacted legislation or adopted regulations addressing nurse staffing. In March 2015, Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) reintroduced the Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2015 (H.R. 1602), that recognizes the fact that nurses are often put into difficult situations where they are pressured to care for too many patients, which results in poorer care overall. The bill requested to remove these external pressures and allow nurses and patients to benefit from safe care ratios, which would establish federal nurse-to- patient staffing ratios in all hospitals. Additionally, it would restrict mandatory RN overtime to times of emergency. (U.S. House of Representatives, 114 th Congress) Improving nurse staffing will be necessary to prevent an exodus of discontented nurses. Improving nurse staffing can be a feasible solution for patients , health care facilities, and nurses . Evidence has shown patient outcomes will improve, which will indirectly decrease costs associated with longer lengths of stay, costs associated with hospital-acquired conditions, and medical errors. (Hairr 2014) There is little disagreement around the relationship between nurse staffing levels and patient outcomes. Spread too thinly the nurse is at risk of missing early signs of a problem or missing the problem altogether. Insufficient staffing not only adversely impacts health care quality and patient safety, it also compromises the safety of nurses themselves. The increase of patient workload causes more stress, fatigue, safety issues which causes more turnover rates. Insufficient staffing is exposing patients to higher risk to infectious diseases. When nurses feel like they don’t have control in their work setting causes frustration and dissatisfaction. Improving healthy work environments to facilitate safe, quality health care. Improving nurse staffing improves nurses' job satisfaction and in doing so will help in keeping needed nurses at the bedside and decrease the likelihood of a new nursing shortage. Reducing the number of patients a nurse is responsible for during a work shift will improve job satisfaction, improve patient outcomes, and save health care dollars. Nurses with lower workloads are significantly less likely to report that they received
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