Nursing Survey Claims Critical Condition

PASNAP findings criticize staffing levels

DALLAS, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- We all want the very best care when we're admitted into a hospital. But according to a new survey just out today, we might not be getting that level of care.

A labor union group representing thousands of nurses in Pennsylvania randomly distributed a survey this summer to 30,000 nurses. Gauging such topics as hospital staffing and patient safety, the survey yielded some startling results.

As the newest crop of nursing students learns the finer points of patient care, they are preparing to enter what one survey indicates is a field of frustration. "It's a multi-faceted area. There is no one solution," said Catherine Zurawski, DNP, CRNP, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Misericordia University.

She's talking about the results of a survey issued by the Pennsylvania Association of Nurses and Allied Professionals or PASNAP for short. Of the registered nurses who responded, 55% called nurse-to-patient staffing as often or always inadequate. 88% of direct care nurses say they now have less time for patient care. 76% say patient outcomes are worse blaming overall staffing conditions. And 63% say they are somewhat or highly unsatisfied with their jobs.

While no longer a hospital nurse, Ms. Zurawski discussed her profession and the challenges facing current and future nurses. "They can't come into a job where they're stressed out from day one and they can't provide safe care to their patients."

Despite medical advances, she suggests an outdated care model is still being used in hospitals. Decades ago, a nurse might be assigned several patients but some were admitted days before an operation and didn't require the constant care until surgery. Patients these days need constant care. "Now these patients are sicker, sometimes they're more elderly and sometimes there's multiple comorbidities to go along with it," said Ms. Zurawski.

She recommends nurses get involved in hospital policy making and get help from Harrisburg to remedy a critical condition. "Taking this to the legislature and then enabling legislation that's going to mandate that there are safe staffing levels," said Ms. Zurawski.

Two pieces of legislation are currently introduced in the state legislature to address safe staffing levels.

 

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