December 17, 2015

Medical Care: High Nurse Staffing Levels Increase Chance of Heart Attack Survival

High nurse staffing levels improve patient outcomes.

More data has been released that draws a correlation between nurse staffing ratios and patient outcomes. According to Medical Care, the official journal of the medical care section from the American Public Health Association, with every patient added to a nurse's workload, the patient's chances of surviving a heart attack decreases by five percent. The study included data on more than 11 thousand adults from 2005 to 2007.It's the most recent body of evidence illustrating a direct link between patient outcomes and nurse staffing levels."These results add to a large body of literature suggesting that outcomes are better when nurses have a more reasonable workload and work in good hospital work environments," the study reads. "Improving nurse working conditions holds promise for improving survival following IHCA."The struggle for better nurse staffing levels is happening across the country. From New York to California, nurses everywhere are advocating for better staffing levels and work environments. Back in May of 2015, nurses from six California hospitals picketed over poor staffing levels (via CBS Sacramento). That scenario is far from uncommon. The Medical Care study offers a solution:"Adequate hospital nurse staffing may be an important strategy in efforts aimed at achieving excellent patient outcomes. Improvement of work environments requires a change of inter-professional culture and extended delegation of care management to those care providers who are closest to patients."The need for higher nurse staffing limits is well documented. But better patient outcomes isn't the only reason to explore higher nurse staffing levels. Bad working conditions are literally driving nurses away from the profession. According to a study conducted by The University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing, nurses are leaving the profession due to "nurse burnout," especially nurses working in the ER.But while there are no easy answers to replenish the amount of nurses in the United States, there are staffing alternatives healthcare decision-makers can consider. Travel nursing has reached a 20-year high in demand, but for a more long-term staffing solution, foreign-trained nurses are an exceptional option.The Institute of Medicine predicts that 80 percent of nurses will need a bachelor's degree by 2022. Virtually every foreign-trained nurse aspiring to live and work in the United States already has their bachelor's. Furthermore, foreign-trained nurses rank very high in areas like bedside manner, teamwork, personal appearance and attendance.When it comes to patient safety, there's no reason to gamble on poor nurse staffing levels when there is viable nursing talent available.If you're interested in exploring international healthcare talent as a staffing option, contact the team at PassportUSA today.

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