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Poor Nursing Interventions

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The field of nursing demands a lot of responsibility from its professionals, because the main objective for each nurse remains the safety of patients. According to Stavrianopoulos (2012), patient safety means “the prevention of harm to patients.” In fact, the whole system of healthcare is to focus on the prevention of potential errors, learning from the errors that occur, and building a culture of right healthcare that includes professionals in the field of treatment, special organizations where it is possible to practice healthcare, and patients.

Moreover, the safety culture of an establishment is the result of attitudes, perceptions, values, patterns of behavior, and competencies shared within a group or individually (Stavrianopoulos, 2012). Consequently, it determines the necessary aspects of commitment to the whole health and safety management in an organization. Moreover, it allows finding the best solutions in case some problems occur. Only the safety culture that is based on proper information flow, mutual trust, organizational learning, common perception of the importance of safety, good management and development of leadership, as well as a tolerant approach to error reporting, may be considered as ideal in a health care organization. On the other hand, such things as poor leadership, bad or insufficient communication among nurses, overlooking individual fallibility, neglecting the objectives, and failure to follow standards at work usually cause bad cooperation and unsatisfying outcomes for both teamwork and healthcare (Stavrianopoulos, 2012).

According to Frith, H. K., Anderson, E.F., Tseng, F., and Fong, E.A. (2012), medication errors appear because of latent conditions which cause time pressures, inappropriate staffing, fatigue, and unit environment. In addition, it is said that “active failures in dosage calculation, following protocols, and lack of pharmacology knowledge are critical for nurse leaders to address, but just as important are latent conditions that contribute to errors” (Frith, H. K., Anderson, E.F., Tseng, F., & Fong, E.A., 2012). Moreover, it often happens that a very limited number of nurses are able to meet patients’ needs. Unfortunately, there are a lot of nurses who take shortcuts, omit necessary steps or forget about approved standards to simply get the work done.

Evidently, these days, there are many innovations and special techniques which are very helpful while treating people. Nevertheless, it often happens that the provision of quality healthcare may be neglected by nursing staff because of many reasons including the fact that hospitals are understaffed, there is a deficit of professionals, low quality of care, hence negative patient outcomes (Madeleine Estryn-B?hara, M., Van der Heijdenb, I.J.M B., & the NEXT Study Group, 2012).

Interestingly, recent evidence shows the negative influence of a 12-hour shift on nursing establishments. Obviously, there are many potential risks to both nurses and patients. However, this tendency is becoming more and more prominent in Europe. In fact, there is an important question about the formulation of a proper and sound work schedule which is able to meet the requirements of medical services, as well as provide nurses with some work satisfaction (Madeleine Estryn-B?hara, M., Van der Heijdenb, I.J.M B., & the NEXT Study Group, 2012). In addition, in 2003, the researchers worked on European database aimed at determining the impact of work hours on nursing staff considering three most important parameters such as family balance, safety, and health (Madeleine Estryn-B?hara, M., Van der Heijdenb, I.J.M B., & the NEXT Study Group, 2012). Moreover, these criteria were successfully adjusted to a wide range of risk factors.

While studying the impact of work hours, the researchers took into consideration the following variables: age, gender, seniority, personal-family situation, profession level, appropriate and sufficient child care when at work, and salary satisfaction. At the same time, the health problems were measured considering workability, burnout, and the feeling of being tired at work (Madeleine Estryn-B?hara, M., Van der Heijdenb, I.J.M B., & the NEXT Study Group, 2012). Moreover, the issues of obtaining sufficient sleep during the working week and sick-leave days taken by nurses are also vital. In order to effectively determine all the contributing factors, it is necessary to pay attention to the issues of satisfaction with handovers of staff when they change, and confrontation with patients or their families without knowing about the medical condition of a patient. However, there are other points relevant to discussions about problems with working conditions. Therefore, they include different interruptions in the work routine, worries about making mistakes, work intensity, and questions of “lifting patients in bed without aid, maintaining an uncomfortable posture, and working in standing posture” (Madeleine Estryn-B?hara, M., Van der Heijdenb, I.J.M B., & the NEXT Study Group, 2012).

Besides many duties and requirements at work, nurses also may engage in over-commitment activities. According to the statistics, 33.9 % of male and 26.2 % of female nurses work overtime. For example, nurses working a 12-hour shift during the day are quite satisfied with their private life. At the same time, nursing personnel working different shifts and a 10-hour shift at night have more difficulties in their family and private life. Extended work hours reducing the number of working days are an efficient way of solving the difficulties with childcare for some nurses. The research shows that 23.3 % of male nurses and 72.7 % of female nurses are good at doing household chores themselves. In fact, only 2.3 % of male nurses have one or more children and live alone, while 6.8 % of female nurses have the same situation.

It is common for male nurses with no children to take alternating shifts, and they are much more flexible comparing with female nurses with children. The latter ones find 12-hour shifts during the night or day the best option. The researchers added that the dissatisfaction with staff handovers when shifts change was common among nurses having a 10- or 12-hour shift at night. In addition, nursing staff “… working alternating shifts including many nights often do not know what a patient or family ought to be told, they worry more about making mistakes and more report low quality of teamwork” (Madeleine Estryn-B?hara, M., Van der Heijdenb, I.J.M B., & the NEXT Study Group, 2012). Those working 10 or 12 hours during the day, 12 hours at night, and having alternating work hours feel more often exhausted, hence they are more likely to have a high burnout score.

In conclusion, there are many points which demand additional attention on the part of higher medical establishments to prevent undesirable outcomes. In fact, any deviation from approved standards in a health care institution may pose risks to patient safety. In order to have efficient teamwork and satisfaction with it, it remains necessary to use the advantages of leadership and constantly keep on learning. Moreover, true professionals in nursing are those who not only learn, but also implement new knowledge and skills, especially while treating patients.

References

Frith, H. K., Anderson, E.F., Tseng, F., & Fong, E.A. (2012, October-September). Nurse

staffing is an important strategy to prevent medication errors in community hospital. Retrieved from http://www.nursingeconomics.net/necfiles/specialissue/2012/Frith_Staffing.pdf

Madeleine Estryn-B?hara,M., Van der Heijdenb, I.J.M B., & the NEXT Study Group. (2012).

Effects of extended work shifts on employee fatigue, health, satisfaction, work/family

balance, and patient safety. Department of Occupational Health H?tel Dieu & Radboud University Nijmegen, Institute for Management Research. Retrieved from

http://iospress.metapress.com/content/85r2k5776h876727/fulltext.pdf

Stavrianopoulos , T. (2012, April – June). The development of patient safety culture. Health

Science Journal. Retrieved from

http://www.hsj.gr/volume6/issue2/623.pdf