Updated: Jan 23
Episode summary introduction:
There is an abundance of research that shows when the nurse to patient ratio is lower, outcomes are better. In the U.S. we do not have any federal laws that mandate safe patient to nurse ratios. California is the only state that currently has a law in place for minimum staffing ratios for all hospital units.
We know that when there are better staffing ratios, patient incidences and mortality decreases. This should seem like a fairly easy concept to bring everyone on-board. What seems to be holding hospitals back? Money -
Undoubtedly, if there was a federal law that mandated nurse to patient ratios, the nursing world would see this as a win.
Virginia State Board Guidelines and Recommendations
In my opinion, it will always boil down to your nursing judgment. It doesn’t matter if the doctor made the initial or deathly mistake. The blame will always be placed on that nurse as to whether they use their nursing judgment correctly. It’s also my opinion that about 99.9% of the time the nurse is held accountable for the mistakes of the facility or the provider. If you are not comfortable taking an assignment or feel as if it is out of your scope or knowledge base, say NO! Your patient and your license will depend on it.