Patient-to-Nurse Ratio Legislation

My Personal/Professional Strategies to Increase My Power

According to Abood’s (2007) article, “if one is up to stand for the changes in the health care system, it is going to take authority, determination, time, and dynamism, along with the makings of a politician” (para. 4). Acquiring political awareness seems to be crucial to formulating any demands or writing any appeals.

I agree with the author’s statement that registered nurses should have a bigger part in the public health policy affairs. As a medical professional, I would make sure that I understand the situation I find myself in and try to gain the support of local lobbyists and other influential governmental units. I also consider joining a nursing organization: “Nurses in a systematized expert association are exposed to more resources, and are capable of planning more efficiently to bring nursing’s viewpoint to health policy administration than do individual nurses” (Abood, 2007, para. 10). These organizations can also assist in devising ways to spread awareness among the other public health organizations.

I assume I will have to be ready for competition in the legislative arena. I would morally prepare myself for occasional failure and convince my colleagues to do the same. Nobody can be sure which proposal is going to be accepted, and which one is going to be rejected, so, as a professional, I have to keep calm, collected, and unflinching no matter the results. I think, most of all, I should be safe from getting easily discouraged, which, I feel, is going to be difficult at first. As Abood (2007) himself mentions, “It is wise to anticipate these types of setbacks and to be prepared with an appropriate response.” (para. 42).

To involve the patients and gain their support as well, I would distribute positive statistical information about our cause among them. Since my goal is to convince the state legislature to pass legislation on

mandated nurse-patient ratios, I would use information underlining the positive effects of the increased nurse staffing (low patient mortality, better-developed treatment strategies) to convince the patients that supporting us in this predicament is beneficial to them most of all (Aiken, 2010, p. 3).

Legislator Information Sheet

The study conducted by Aiken et al. (2010) in California shows that when caring for their usual number of patients minus one, nurses observed lower patient mortality rates, experienced less fatigue and exhaustion, and “consistently reported better quality of care” (p. 1). I believe we can use this data to improve the medical care situation in our state. The most notable advantages of lower patient-to-nurse ratios are listed below.

  • Lower patient-to-nurse ratios result in a lower percentage of odds and complaints from the patients or families (Aiken et al., 2010, p. 12).
  • Higher appreciation rate from the patients; less verbal abuse by the patients or other members of the staff (Aiken et al., 2010, p. 12).
  • Nurses in the poorer-staffed hospitals are more likely to doubt the wellbeing of their patients after being discharged than nurses in the better-staffed hospitals (Aiken et al., 2010, p. 12).
  • Lower mortality rates in the better-staffed hospitals (Aiken et al., 2010, p. 12).
  • Nurses in the better-staffed hospitals are more satisfied with their job and experience less burnout than nurses in the poorer-staffed hospitals (Aiken et al., 2010, p. 15).
  • Nurses performance quality increases due to lower patient-to-nurse ratios (for example, they cannot complain that their “amount of work is the reason they commonly overlook the deviations in patients’ conditions”) (Aiken et al., 2010, p. 15).
  • Nurses in the better-staffed hospitals are more likely to stay on their jobs (Aiken et al., 2010, p. 15).

References

Abood, S. (2007). Influencing Health Care in the Legislative Arena. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 12(1), 12-18.

Aiken, L.H., Sloane, D.M., Cimiotti, J.P., Clarke, S.P., Flynn, L., Seago, J.A., Spetz, J., & Smith, H. (2010). Implications of the California Nurse Staffing Mandate for Other States. Health Services Research. Web.

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