We Need More Nurses. Our Lives Depend On It!

We Need More Nurses. Our Lives Depend On It!

{2:30 minutes to read}

A recent New York Times op-ed called for hospitals to hire more nurses. We support that position.

Staffing ratios – the number of patients assigned to health care professionals in hospitals and nursing homes – are much higher than they should be. Nurses are overloaded with patient care responsibilities. As a result they are susceptible to burnout, exhaustion and stress, and have less time to care for patients.

My relative recently earned a nursing degree and started work in a large city hospital in the trauma unit. She told me that her patient care duties require so much time that she rarely has time to eat or take a break during her lengthy shift. She and her colleagues have to care for a many critically injured patients, who require life-saving procedures. Nurses must also complete detailed treatment records and nursing orders. They do not receive enough help from support staff. Due to the large number of patients assigned to them, they simply have no time to spare.

Inadequate nurse staffing puts patients at risk for:

  • longer hospital stays;
  • increased infection rates;
  • medical errors;
  • injuries;
  • and even

When surveyed, 25% of nurses, said that understaffing is directly responsible for patient death; 50% blamed understaffing for harm or injury to patients; and 85% said patient care is suffering because of the high number of patients assigned to each nurse.

Nursing organizations are lobbying to change federal regulations in order to limit the number of patients each nurse can be assigned. Despite the obvious benefits of lower nursing ratios, hospitals are reluctant to hire more nurses due to the expense. Understaffing in health care is dangerous. Reducing nurse-to-patient ratios will undoubtedly improve healthcare delivery. We support nurses’ efforts to bring about positive changes.

If you have any questions or feedback about nurse-to-patient ratios, please call or email today!

Ron Katter

Katter Law Firm
Phone: 844-WAS-HURT
Alt Phone: 212-809-4293


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