Reflect on your experience in healthcare (clinical or administrative). Briefly describe a time when you worked in a culture where safety and quality were effectively balanced and practiced â€“ OR â€“ describe a time when the opposite occurred.
As a novice medical-surgical nurse, I was appalled by the staff-to-patient ratios that existed at the time. In those early days, we were responsible for a staggering seven post-operative patients each, which made it extremely challenging to provide the level of care that we aspired to deliver. To add to this, the nursing techs were not able to provide much assistance or support, which further exacerbated the workload. As a result, patients had to wait longer for essential care, such as timely pain relief, due to the nurses being so overloaded. Furthermore, the high workload increased the likelihood of medication errors occurring, which was a constant source of worry for me and the other nurses. All these challenges not only made it hard to provide quality care to patients but also put a tremendous strain on the nursing staff who were responsible for providing it.
As a clinical or administrative leader, how will YOU ensure safety and quality in your department or facility?
To ensure safety and quality in my department, I will implement the following measures:
1. The staffing ratio for medical-surgical nurses will be 5:1 for medical patients and 4:1 for post-surgical patients.
2. a non-punitive correction action form will be created as a learning experience for all nurses and interdisciplinary teams if a medication error occurs.
3. I will foster a culture of good communication between leadership and employees (Tariq et al. in 2023).
4. No policy changes will be made as part of these measures. I believe fostering a culture where people thrive and learn will make employees happier and keep patients safer.