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Study from Beckers: Overworked Nurses may be linked to a forty percent increase in risk of Patient Deaths


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Thumper was a respondent on the Becker site and "Optimal" in this setting refers to optimal exceeded workloads which many of us have.

Not unlike Thumper, I agree that this is an issue that has ramifications such as this study but affects many more caregivers such as the different techs, nursing assistants, PAs and NPs in the hospital setting and emergency room clinicians as well as surgical staff, including the surgeons themselves. The nurses are the first to suffer as a large group as they are understaffed and instead of a 6:1 ratio of nurse to patient, a night shift nurse can have a 16:1. Did the patients magically change their admitting diagnosis or are these the same patients with the same problem and the addition of poor sleep in their surroundings compounded with post-operative pain. They are under-treated, seen ,perhaps twice a shift,even if they are hitting the call button. From a NA standpoint,patients are not turned, properly fed or soiled beds or diapers are not changed adding to skin and soft tissue breakdown and decubitus ulcers. The nurse needs to be "The Flash" to dispense medications and these type of errors can be deadly. Yes, personnel costs money but the litigation's and need for additional time in the hospital at its own expense is far more. My mother-in-law was a DON at three hospitals and found this happening in all three and was frustrated by administrations refusal to hire more people. Surgical personnel are more scarce because so few are trained in this discipline and it is not unusual for a surgical nurse, surgical technologist, surgical PA or NP and the surgeon themselves to work more than 80 hours to a hundred hours per week. Let me prove this as a malpractice attorney and I would have a field day of serving the institution and the caregivers who legally are working while intoxicated due to lack of sleep. Do we really care? If these providers started a pact and documented these atrocities ,hospitals would be put out of business. As a PA who cares, I would join the pact because our patients are failing because of lack of revenue to pay employees but fat paychecks for administrators.

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