Better nurse-to-patient ratios have been a hot topic in healthcare for a long time now. As a result, about 6,500 nurses participated in a walkout in Florida, Arizona, California and Illinois. They are demanding a system in which patients have more attention, which results in better care.
The walkout reflects a much deeper problem in American healthcare. Overworked nurses cannot give patients their full attention, and consequently, they cannot receive proper care.
Some hospitals assign nurses up to eight patients at a time. In contrast, thousands of miles away in Australia, a study conducted by Queensland Health, Queensland University of Technology, and the University of Pennsylvania looked into this issue. They found that when nurse-to-patient ratios decreased, patients experienced better care.
Sadly, more and more healthcare workers are experiencing burnout. The Physicians Foundation conducted a survey last year that found 78% of physicians “sometimes, often or always experience feelings of burnout.”
This means that patient safety and health is compromised. More importantly, however, hospitals should advocate for their nurses and healthcare workers more. Otherwise, the growing problem of infections transmitted more easily in facilities will continue to happen, and at more alarming rates.
Ultimately, patients suffer the most when nurses and other healthcare workers feel stressed and overworked. That is why it is important to maintain compliance and standards within hospitals and other facilities so that they receive only the best care.
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