Post an explanation of how competing needs such as the needs of the workforce resources and patients may impact the development of policy
Quite often, nurse leaders are faced with ethical dilemmas, such as those associated with choices between competing needs and limited resources. Resources are finite, and competition for those resources occurs daily in all organizations.
For example, the use of 12-hour shifts has been a strategy to retain nurses. However, evidence suggests that as nurses work more hours in a shift, they commit more errors. How do effective leaders find a balance between the needs of the organization and the needs of ensuring quality, effective, and safe patient care?
In this Discussion, you will reflect on a national healthcare issue and examine how competing needs may impact the development of polices to address that issue.
- Review the Resources and think about the national healthcare issue/stressor you previously selected for study in Module 1.
- Reflect on the competing needs in healthcare delivery as they pertain to the national healthcare issue/stressor you previously examined.
Post an explanation of how competing needs such as the needs of the workforce resources and patients may impact the development of policy. Then, describe any specific competing needs that may impact the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected. What are the impacts, and how might policy address these competing needs? Be specific and provide examples.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Organizational Policies and Practices
Supporting Healthcare Issues
Registered nurses are usually challenged with the necessity to provide quality care regardless of the insufficiency of resources to facilitate the care. Nurses are mandated by their professional nature to not only offer holistic care but to ensure that the services they provide to patients guarantee patient satisfaction and are of high quality (American Nurses Association, 2015). The ethical dilemma occurs when the nurse is aware of their functions and duties, but the resources required to carry out the functions are scarce. The current nursing profession is facing a lot of changes and demands from the aging population, increased chronic illnesses, and patients with comorbid illnesses. In this manner, there is a mixture of stiff competition of needs that [prompts the administration of the organization to device policies that would govern the sharing of resources
Nurses comprise the biggest population of professionals within the health care sector. However, there is still a shortage with regard to the recommended patient-nurse ratio. Similarly, the rapid changes in healthcare technologies make it expensive for hospitals to constantly meet the new advancement in technology (Kelly, & Porr, 2018). These two aspects are crucial for patient care and treatment within a hospital setting; however, in the event that they are scarce and not easily accessible by patients, it leads to competing needs. The shortage of nurses impairs the workforce in different ways, while inadequate resources impair patient quality care in a timely manner. For instance, a shortage of nurses and chemotherapy equipment makes it difficult for a nurse to administer care and quality services to a patient with cancer (Haddad, Annamaraju, & Toney-Butler, 2020) . This leads to competing needs and resources where patients have to adhere to schedules that allow them to access the resources, which is still insufficient and life-threatening.
The shortage of nurses and hospital resources limits the hospital or healthcare organization from achieving its goals and mission. In this manner, in order to align their service delivery to the ability to attain their overall goals, there is a need for policy development that will positively impact the patient outcome (Milliken, 2018). Be that as it may, a healthcare facility might opt to come up with policies that ensure a single nurse is assigned to a predetermined number of patients, and if there is a shortage, new nurses can be hired or contracted for the time there is a surge. Similarly, the healthcare organization can come up with policies that review the demand for healthcare resources after each year and device means to acquire more equipment and resources that will facilitate improved patient income.
Through these policies, the healthcare facility is able to mitigate the aspect of competing needs and ensure that there is efficient patient satisfaction. For instance, hiring more nurses is effective is providing better care through improving the quality and focus that each patient begets (Haddad, Annamaraju, & Toney-Butler, 2020). It also ensures that there is patient-centered care to improve the overall outcome. Similarly, nurses will be able to contrate and have sufficient resting periods between shifts. These mechanisms will equally minimize the issue of nurse burnout, medical errors, and turnover. The policies will play a critical role in not only helping the organization attain its goals but also in improving both nurse practice and the patient outcome. The presence of resources, efficient employee, base, and a satisfied patient means that there are adequate measures that prevent competing needs within the healthcare system.
American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Silver Spring, MD: Author. Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/coe-view-only
Haddad, L. M., Annamaraju, P., & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2020). Nursing shortage. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.
Kelly, P., & Porr, C. (2018). Ethical nursing care versus cost containment: Considerations to enhance RN practice. OJIN: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(1), Manuscript 6. doi:10.3912/OJIN.Vol23No01Man06. Retrieved from http://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-23-2018/No1-Jan-2018/Ethical-Nursing-Cost-Containment.html
Milliken, A. (2018). Ethical awareness: What it is and why it matters. OJIN: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(1), Manuscript 1. doi:10.3912/OJIN.Vol23No01Man01. Retrieved from http://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-23-2018/No1-Jan-2018/Ethical-Awareness.html
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