Tom Sharon
Daily task of meeting the minimum requirements


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Safe Staffing Levels

Included in the framework of safe staffing levels is the daily task of meeting the minimum requirements for any given shift. Actually, the primary responsibility falls on the staffing coordinators with regard to setting up schedules one month in advance. The final accountability for safe staffing levels falls on the nursing supervisor of the preceding shift. The prevailing practice as of this writing is for the coordinator to schedule employees and take no action to fill in the gaps, even if there is only one nurse scheduled for a seven-bed intensive care unit. The nursing supervisor then spends most of the shift scrambling for nurses, calling off-duty personnel and outside staffing agencies.

You should go to the nursing office and ask, "What percentage of the minimum required number of nurses is on next month's staffing schedule?" In some cases, I have seen zero. If the number is chillingly low, you are not likely to receive a straight answer. So, why bother asking such a question? Because the more that people ask about staffing, the more nursing administrators will realize that there is public suspicion of how they are conducting their internal affairs. They are likely to respond accordingly and voluntarily improve their performance. Secrecy is the weapon by which bureaucrats defend the status quo and resist change. Questions are the daggers by which you can pierce the veil of concealment and transform the reticent bureaucracy to a responsive administration.

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SECTION : Hospital

· Hospital mishaps
· Evaluating hospital safety
· Health-care consumer
· Trauma center
· Post surgical negligence
· Safest hospital
· Hospital's finances
· Hospital labor relations
· Hospital's corridors
· The Smell of the Place
· The health-care team
· Operating room staffing
· Nurse recruitment
· Safe staffing levels
· Patient trauma
· Satisfaction surveys
· Hospital standards
· Scoring hospital safety
· Emergency waiting game
· How triage works
· Fatal triage error
· Triage priority levels
· Emergency room waiting
· Safe emergency room
· Safe hospital floor
· Distance to the nurses
· Life-support equipment
· Handling nursing care
· An experienced nurse
· A skilled nurse
· The nurse's role
· The nurse as advocate
· Preventing falls/bedsores
· Identifying supervisors
· Nurse-to-patient ratio
· The attending physician
· Dangerous hospital floor
· Hospital trauma
· Risk of falling in hospitals
· "Mysterious" injuries
· A scared nurse's aide
· Case of possible homicide
· Staff avoiding blame
· Prevent falls and injuries
· Restraints
· Side rails
· Vest restraints
· Wrist restraints
· Leg restraints
· Restraints as a last resort
· Prevent falls in hospital

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