I am a Registered Nurse and I am writing this letter, because there is indeed a crisis in New York healthcare. The staffing levels in nyc is at a critical level. patients are not receiving the care that they deserve, need, and require for survival. The fact is that when a nurses are forced to work with high nurse to patient ratios, patients are at risk to die, they get infections, they get injured. They don’t get the education and teaching that they need. Nurse understaffing in hospitals increases the risk and rates of hospital acquired pneumonia, shock, cardiac arrest, as well as failure to rescue, which climbed due to unsafe staffing. Unsafe staffing not only leads to death but also costs the hospital a significant amount of money. Understaffing of registered nurses contributes to increased Length of stay, urinary tract infections, cases of upper gastrointestinal bleeding, all increased due to unsafe staffing ratios.
I have practiced as a registered nurse in nyc for 9 years ,8 years in the AED of a Busy level one trauma center in the Bronx, and the last year has been spent in the medical icu of the same hospital. It has been my experience that the number of patients assigned tome has a direct impact on my ability to appropriately assess, monitor, and care for my patients. Safe nurse staffing reduces turnover in hospitals compared to understaffing, increased turnover and decreased patient satisfaction.
Turnover is expensive, the average cost to replace a registered nurse ranges from 82000 to 88000. Nurses are being burnt out and leaving the profession. I am no exception to this, you see I consider myself a good nurse but, I cannot continue to work under these conditions, and this is the reason that we are seeking your help.it is said that If nothing is done, nothing happens, this is not true, if nothing is done patients die. In my hospital even though they are aware of the appropriate and safe patient ratios, they still have unsafe staffing ratios on a daily basis. For years, my RN colleagues have expressed frustration and concern when working chronically understaffed shifts. Safe staffing levels are key to patient safety and nurse retention
There is numerous evidence research to support the benefits of safe staffing ratios. For example, the journal of American medical association stated that hospitals that staff one to eight nurse to patient ratios vs one to four patient ratios experience an additional 5 deaths per year per 1000 patients. 1 avoidable death is too much, 5 per 1000 is astronomical. Patients go to hospitals to get better, not to be placed at risk and die.
We need your help in assuring the safety of our patients. Don’t force me to choose which patient is going to die if I am not present. I am only one person and can only be in one place at a time. Don’t force me to choose between a patient that has had a massive stroke and needs critical management vs my patient who is actively seizing and needs medication now vs my patient who is having an asthma exacerbation and also needs medication now to breathe. But this is exactly the decision that I am forced to make on a daily basis. Even in my current unit there is supposed to be a nurse to patient ratio of one nurse to two patients, with the exception of those patient who needs one to one nursing care, but the ratio and safety of the patients is blatantly disregarded by the healthcare facility and the ratio on some days is as much as one nurse to four patients.
For this reason, I am asking you to support the safe staffing for quality care act (S782 and A1548/8580). This legislation will ensure the safety of our patients by setting the maximum number of patients a nurse a nurse can care for at a time. Hospitals must be required to meet the minimum nurse to patient staffing standards. Help our patients receive the care they need and deserve, pass the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act.