Planninga Visit with my Legislator
RegisteredNurses (RNs) have since acknowledged and reiterate thatnurse-to-patient ratio is a constant concern that which plays abigger role in the safety of both the nurse and the patient(Bolderman et al., 2013). Greater reductions in the nursing budget,coupled with challenges due to increasing shortage of nurses have ledto fewer nurses operating longer hours while they take care of thepatients. This issue is more about the lack of nurses, which createsan environment that drives them away from taking care of the patients(Hodgson, 2014). Again, increase in patient acuity and reducedhospital stays contribute to improved safety issues. Finding abalanced nurse-to-patient ratio thus becomes a priority. Therefore,the purpose of this paper is to identify communication strategies,which support an active policy-making presentation, deliver themessage and make recommendations to the legislator.
Plan:First, I will take preliminary research about the legislator, hismailing address(s), email, phone number, and a link to his socialmedia. Secondly, I will review how the legislative processfunctions. Schreuders et al. (2015) noted that understanding howideas are formulated into laws will assist one openly to express hisor her ideas and possible recommendations. I will then contact thelegislator regarding issue – nurse-to-patient ratio – beforearranging a meeting with him. I will choose from a variety ofcommunication approaches at my disposal. For instance, I will contactthe legislator by email, phone, social media, or visit him in person.After arranging the meeting, the following is the message that Iintend to relay to the legislator.
Message:When employers in health care fail to recognize or oversee theconnection or link between the Registered Nurses (RN) staff andoverall patient outcomes, legislations and laws thus becomenecessary. There were laws passed before that were targeted on thesame (safe staffing), but the results were not impressive. One ofthem is 42CFR482.23 (b) (42 Code of Federal Regulations). Thislegislation required certified hospitals to engage in Medicare to"ensure the adequate number of licensed vocational nurses, RNs,and other health care personnel to offer nursing care to all thepatients as is required" (Min & Scott, 2016).
My message tothe legislator will be about the need to enact new laws towardsimproving the working conditions in health care centers by looking atthe inpatient safe staffing ratios. Nurse-to-patient ratio, accordingto Griffiths (2014), has a direct impact on the safety of patients.It is widely known that when appropriate and balanced nurse staffinglevels are attained, general improvement of patient outcomes isrealized. It is important that the legislator knows thatdetermination of the right number nursing staff is critical in thedelivery of patient care. Passing federal legislation, for instance,will be a necessary move to elevate protection levels for allpatients and ensure fair and balanced working conditions for allRegistered Nurses (RNs).
Again, recentdata show that stable templates by the RNs are connected to lowerrates of infections, patient falls, medication errors, and patientdeaths. For instance, when unanticipated cases occur in hospitalsresulting in injury, patient death, or permanent functional loss, theissue of understaffing is considered a major contributing factor.Regarding the need to have a new legislation, I will ask thelegislator to push for a new bill. This bill will demand thathospitals establish a set of committees to create plans forunit-by-unit nurse-to-patient ratio. This will be based on somefactors, for example, the total number of patients in hospitals, theseverity of patients` condition, the RNs` skill level and experience,availability of staff support, and availability of resources.
Recommendations: My recommendations to the legislator willbe based on the State`s staffing laws and should be founded underthree approaches. The first approach will be to demand from hospitalsand healthcare centers to have the nurse staffing committee that willcreate a set of staffing plans. These methods will be used to reflectthe requirements and wishes of the entire patient population whilematching the experience and skills of the nursing staff (Hodgson,2014). The second approach will be for the legislators to considerspecific nurse-to-patient ratios in regulation while designing thelegislation. The third approach will require facilities to displayinformation regarding staffing levels to the public or any otherregulatory body.
An analysis ofempirical evidence will start with meeting up with the legislator. Iwill pass on the intended message to the legislator, which in thiscase, is the issue of nurse-to-patient ratio. For example, thelegislator will want to know about the current trends regarding thesame, which include increased healthcare costs with no guarantee ofpatient care improvement due to an imbalance between nurses andpatients (Bolderman et al., 2013). The information on the issue willrequire a follow-up for purposes of making sure the message is passedacross for legislation. For example, the importance of a successfulvisit to the legislator for nursing issues includes pushing for apossible approval of the law and enlightening healthcare institutionsto focus on having the issue solved.
In conclusion,the issue of the nurse-to-patient ratio can only be solved by havingthe right legislations in place. Therefore, the paper talked about aplanned visit to one legislator to push for proper laws on the same.First, the visit requires a well-crafted plan, how to contact thelegislator, and setting up a time frame, and the availability of thelegislator. Again, what follow is the intended message, availabledata, and recommendations.
Bolderman, K. M., Argento, N. B., Scheiner, G., & Barlow, S. L.(2013). Putting Your Patients on the Pump. New York: AmericanDiabetes Association.
Hodgson, H. (2014). Nurse:patient ratios – time for a target?.Clinical Medicine (london, England), 14, 2, 99-100.
Griffiths, P. (2014). Nurse patient ratios, skill mix and workfutures. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 51, 3,353-4.
Min, A., & Scott, L. D. (2016). Evaluating nursing hours perpatient day as a nurse staffing measure. Journal of NursingManagement, 24, 4, 439-448.
Schreuders, L. W., Bremner, A. P., Geelhoed, E., & Finn, J.(2015). The relationship between nurse staffing and inpatientcomplications. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71, 4, 800-812.