I had the opportunity to visit with some nurses the other day. Their main issue is still safe staffing. In essence, this means that a nurse’s caseload should be structured so that each patient is able to get the services necessary. What seems to be happening is delays in care or treatment, delays in medications, and increased inability to answer call lights. Ideally, there should be a mechanism whereby units could be closed until a strategy is in place to deal with additional responsibilities. Another item of concern is the number of times nurses submitted requests for additional help and requests were ignored or given inappropriate responses. This hardly builds confidence in the level of care being received.
My understanding is that the care situations haven’t improved in the hospitals where the strikes took place. First, nurses shouldn’t have to take such drastic actions to make sure their patients get the care they deserve. Secondly, I wonder whether administrators are placing costs over care.
We are facing problems in many aspects of healthcare and we should be able to do better. The Concern for Safe Staffing Report will be released on March 1, 2017.