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California's Historic RN-to-Patient Hospital Staffing Ratios Upgraded Again With New Year
Date:1/3/2008

ce with the ratio law praise its effects, and nurses in other states cite the importance of winning it elsewhere.

"Finally we have the time to do proper nursing care and fully evaluate each patient's needs." Kathy Dennis, RN, Mercy General Hospital, Sacramento, Ca. "We now have the time to check each patient's chart and make sure there are no treatment delays. And finally there is the time to do the patient and family teaching that is essential to avoiding future complications and hospitalizations."

"Before the ratios were enacted, we had complete turnover of our entire RN staff twice in three years," said Trande Phillips, RN, Kaiser Permanente, Walnut Creek, Ca. "We were always working short staffed and patients suffered. Now the only time nurses leave is if they are moving or going back to school."

"To have it mandated is just the safest way because then (the hospitals) have no choice," said Lynn Rox, RN, Valley Baptist-Harlingen, Brownsville, Tx. "I know of nurses who have left because of the ratios, and if that changed, they would run back to the hospital."

"It is not uncommon for an RN to be responsible for 12 patients on a Med-Surg floor and 1:3 has become the norm for ICU with an occasional 1:4," said Mary Tatum, RN, VA Hospital, Cleveland, Oh. "Minimum staffing levels are essential for quality care."


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SOURCE California Nurses Association
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