Health Policy regarding Safety of Patients
One of the key areas emphasized in many healthcare facilities is the safety of the patients. Almost every healthcare facility has implemented policies regarding patient safety. However, one policy that has caught my attention of late is the minimum number of nurses staffed in a department at any given time, or simply the nurse-to-patient ratio. In the state of Florida, the nurse-to-patient ratio is always one nurse to four patients in the surgical department. According to evidence-based research, the nurse-to-patient ratio is one of the crucial factors which determine the safety of the patients. A high nurse-to-patient ratio elevates the risks of fatigue, medication errors, falls, and infections. Over the years, there have been safe patient ratio campaigns in America geared towards enhancing safe staffing. In my opinion, the number of nurses in the surgical department in the state of Florida needs to be increased as this will increase the safety of the patients as well as the nurses. Therefore, it is important for the policymakers to pass and implement a bill aimed at lowering the nurse-to-patient ratio in the state of Florida. Effective communication is essential for achieving the goals of the policy. In my plan of ensuring the bill towards increasing patient to nurse ratio is implemented, I will draft an outline of the policy, and arrange a meeting with the member of the legislative assembly of the state of Florida. The paper addresses communication strategies that support effective policy-making-presentation visits.
Key Strategies for Plan, Message, and Recommendations
Drafting an outline of the policy and arranging a meeting with the member of the Florida legislature are some of the key strategies in my plan. I will consider the best means possible to communicate with the member of the legislative assembly of Florida. My priority is to meet the member of the Florida legislature face to face but if that is not possible I will look for alternatives such as telephone calls, writing a letter, or even emailing. When sharing the message concerning the nurse-to-patient ratio policy, I will use facts and statistics in the surgical departments in Florida hospitals to show how important it is to implement the policy. I will recommend that the nurse-to-patient ratio should be lowered to two patients for every nurse. In so doing, the risks of fatigue, medication errors, falls and infections among the nurses will be reduced and thus the safety of the patients and the nurses will be improved. I will also recommend that the surgical departments should be well equipped to facilitate proper service delivery which improves the safety of the patients.
Analysis of Empirical Evidence
According to National Student’s Nurses Association (2013), it is important for one to be properly acquainted with the legislator’s campaign, and be audible during conversation as this shapes the opinions of the legislator towards the healthcare topic. These are some of the strategies I will employ in driving the nursing policy home. I will also research on the healthcare issue and plan ahead of time as this will assist me in getting straight to the point when communicating the policy to the member of the legislative assembly. During the discussion, I will present the essential issues to do with the nurse-to-patient ratio according to priority. The American Nurses Students’ association (2013) also recommends that one should not stay for too long during the visit and should make the necessary efforts in solving the issue at hand during the first visit. Therefore, I will observe time strictly and address the policy in my first visit to the legislator. For the purposes of follow-up, I will leave my contacts including my phone number and email address to the legislator which will facilitate subsequent communications and visits.
Impacts of a Successful Visit
A nurse should be an advocate and this is important for ensuring the success of the visit. A specific example where the nurse-a-patient ratio policy has been implemented is in Canada. The law has proved effective in reducing falls, fatigue, infections, and medication errors among nurses hence increasing the safety of the patients and nurses in Canada. As a result, I will show the legislator how important it is to implement the same policy in the state of Florida.
A lower nurse-to-patient ratio results in reduced risks of fatigue falls, medication errors, and infections which enhances the safety of the patients as well as the nurses. Some of the key strategies for achieving my plans were drafting an outline and arranging a meeting with the member of the legislative assembly in Florida. Facts and statistics in the surgical departments in Florida were used when sharing the message concerning the healthcare policy. Florida has a nurse-to-patient ratio of one nurse for every four patients and thus my recommendation is for the ratio to be lowered to one nurse for every two patients to increase the safety of the patients and the nurses. Time was properly observed to avoid overstaying and the matter at hand was addressed during the first visit as recommended by American Nurses Students’ association. The role of the nurse as an advocate was also employed in ensuring the success of the visit.