Overworked nurses are linked to higher death rates according to the news published by Agence France-Presse as published in MSN News, Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014.
The whole text of the news are quoted here as follows:
Investigations in nine European countries have given statistical backing to claims that patients’ lives may be at risk when nurses are overworked, specialists said on Wednesday.
Published in The Lancet, the study touches on a sensitive topic in countries where health budgets are under strain.
Researchers looked at survival rates after surgery in 300 hospitals, and matched these against the workload and education of their nurses.
They looked at data from the surgeries of more than 420,000 patients aged over 50 who had common operations such as hip or knee replacement, appendix removal or gall bladder surgery.
The number of patients who died in hospital within 30 days of admission was low, on average. It ranged from 1.0 to 1.5 percent depending on the country.
Within a country, though, the death rate varied widely according to the hospital. In some hospitals it could be less than one percent, in others more than seven percent.
Two big factors correlated with higher mortality — a bigger workload for nurses and a lower level of nurses’ education.
Each patient added to a nurse’s workload increased the risk of a patient dying by seven percent. Every 10 percent increase in bachelor’s degree educated nurses was associated with a seven percent fall in this risk.
“Nurse staffing cuts to save money might adversely affect patient outcomes,” said the paper. “An increased emphasis on bachelor’s education for nurses could reduce preventable hospital deaths.”
It offered this statistical scenario: in hospitals where nurses cared for six patients each, and 60 percent of them had bachelor’s degrees, the risk of patient death was nearly a third lower than in places where nurses cared for eight patients and 30 percent had a degree.
The investigation was carried out in Belgium, England, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The findings in Europe closely mirror a previous probe in the United States, said Linda Aiken, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing, who led the research.
“Our data suggest that a safe level of hospital nursing staff might help to reduce surgical mortality, and challenge the widely-held view that nurses’ experience is more important than their education,” she said in a press release.
So that’s the news. Do you agree with the specialists’ findings?
This is not my first time to hear of news about of doctors and nurses linked to the (unfortunately) death of patients in many parts of the world. This time however they single out on nurses.
How I wish all public hospitals and clinics all over the world (where the poor usually go to seek fpr medical help) are given sufficient funds and and provided modern medical facilities, abundant medical resources, and adequate number of medical professionals (mostly nurses) to serve the people.
And so my dear nurses (doctors and other medical professionals as well) don’t get disappointed with this news. Let this be a challenge to increase more our patience and the will to serve.
Long live the nurses!