"If a nurse shows up to work and is feeling tired, disengaged and unappreciated, then they are not going to provide their best care. They may make a mistake, such as forgetting to check in on a PRN medication or overlook a crucial lab value.” Patients and families can pick up when a nurse is burned out, which leads to lower satisfaction, Scala added. Burnt out nurses can also have a financial implication on hospitals. Nurses leaving the job means hospitals have to recruit, hire, train and orient new nurses. That costs a lot of money — not to mention what constant turnover can do to staff morale. “In today’s healthcare environment, organizations are finding that nurses are leaving clinical roles in less than two years’ time," Scala said. "The constant turnover can be costly to the organization’s bottom line.” An increasing number of surveys and studies point to a nurse burnout problem. But what can a hospital or health system do to help nurses who feel stressed out? Lower nurse-to-patient ratios are one way to help. Implementing those types of levels can reduce stress levels while improving patient care, according to Radesi. A lower nurse-to-patient ratio “gives nurses the opportunity to take good care of patients from head to toe.” Academic Dean, School of Nursing at the University of Phoenix Another idea is to implement hourly or purposeful rounding. A study on hourly rounding looked at how it affected patient satisfaction with nursing care. The report found that hourly rounding in inpatient care can “improve patients’ perceptions of nursing staff responsiveness in units where this may have been a problem, reduces patient falls and call light use, and improves patient satisfaction scores.” The authors of the report recommended that nurse administrators implement an hourly rounding program to test out the idea and find “the most cost-effective approach.” Seun Ross, director of nursing practice and work environment at the American Nurses Association, told Healthcare Dive that she supports the idea. Frequent unit rounding can maintain awareness of the “pulse of the unit,” she said. One the two approaches has a cost connected to it, while the other may require making changes to the way nurses perform their work.
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