Nurse staffing ratios revisited

Recently I wrote that I didn’t support mandatory nurse staffing ratios. So how do I feel now that my wife is dependent on the nursing staff for her post-surgical recovery over the next few days?

Well first let me say that the nursing care she is receiving is outstanding. The nurses are compassionate, organized and professional. Staffing levels seem to be adequate. We even had a nurse tell us that our insurance would pay for a breast pump, which I didn’t know. She gave us the card for a supplier and the pump is supposed to be delivered tomorrow.

Interestingly, adequate nurse coverage doesn’t mean quick service. The pharmacy seems to be a bottleneck here. Painkillers and anti-emetics have had lead times of 30 minutes or more. Additional nurses wouldn’t help, and having fewer nurses wouldn’t slow things down either. Not sure why they can’t stock some of this stuff on the floor, though.

July 21, 2005

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