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Nursing Understaffing: Problem and Intervention

Table of Contents

Introduction

Nursing understaffing is one of the major problems that exist today, and it is associated with fast aging of the personnel and shortage of the workforce in the labor market (Summers & Summers, 2014). As a consequence, it causes a rapid increase in mortality rates of surgical patients, and the most appropriate solutions are creating a favorable working environment and cultivating trusting relationships between nurses with the help of organizing different team-building activities. Based on these findings, PICO question can be formulated as “Does organizing different kinds of collaborative events for nurses (I) for three months (T) improve the quality of healthcare (O) by decreasing mortality rates among surgical patients (P)?”. As for Comparison (C), the results will be compared with the performance of nurses, who will not participate in the sessions.

Problem and intervention

In this instance, the problem pertains to having high mortality rates among surgical patients (P) due to the insufficient nurse per patient ratio (Summers & Summers, 2014). Understaffing not only increases the percentage of deaths but also has a negative impact on nurse teamwork and motivation. In this instance, the main solution to these issues that rises from Change Proposal is increasing the quality of relationships between nurses. It could be said that organizing different team-building and knowledge sharing educational sessions and activities (I) will provide a supportive environment for nurses, increase the quality of offered care, and enhance a vision of medical professionals (Nancarrow et al., 2013). For example, this method can support the implementation of the most relevant evidence-based practice strategies such as paying attention to hygiene and hand washing to decrease nosocomial infection (Mehta et al., 2014).

Comparison

As for Comparison (C), it will be reasonable to compare the performance of nurses, who will participate in various team-building sessions, to the ones, who will not be included in the experiment. It will be assessed based on indicators such as patient’s surveys, mortality rates, and employee satisfaction inquiry. This evaluation will be the most relevant instrument, as it will help understand whether the proposed hypothesis is rational.

At the same time, it will indicate whether Health Care Agency should pay vehement attention to motivation of nurses and include different activities to stimulate the development of trusting relationships between employees. Consequently, the findings will be valuable to healthcare agencies, as they will offer profound insights concerning the need to invest in additional activities to resolve the issues of shortage.

Outcome and timeframe

In this instance, it could be said that the major and expected outcomes are decreased mortality rates of surgical patients (O). Along with that, organizing different team-building activities and educational sessions can help pursue patient-centered care while delivering only high-quality services due to the escalating level of motivation. At the same time, taking advantage of this strategy can revolutionize the concepts of nursing practice by extending understanding of the practitioners.

For example, it will be unveiled that it will be rational not only to apply acquired theoretical knowledge but also implement shared ideas and evidence-based solutions into practice. In this case, it will encourage building internal team spirit, increase nurses’ motivation and the quality of the provided care and diagnosis, and, as a result, make the issue related to nursing understaffing less strong. As for Timeframe (T), as it was mentioned earlier, the sessions would be organized within three months, but it would take one month to prepare for the project implementation. Consequently, four months will be required.

References

Mehta, Y., Gupta, A., Todi, S., Myatra, S., Samaddar, D., Patil, V., … Ramasubban, S. (2014). Guidelines for prevention of hospital acquired infections. Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine, 18(3), 149-163.

Nancarrow, S., Booth, A., Ariss, S., Smith, T., Enderby, P., & Roots, A. (2013). Ten principles of good interdisciplinary teamwork. Human Resources for Health, 11(1), 1-11.

Summers, S., & Summers, H. (2014). Saving lives: Why the media’s portrayal of nursing puts us all at risk. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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