This indicates that the problem is not with individual decision-making or carelessness by doctors and other direct care workers, but it is a systematic failure in the delivery of care.
It is clear that exhausted workers will be more prone to errors in judgment or lack of attention to detail.
Mandating fixed nurse-to-patient ratios does not accommodate changes in patients' needs, evolving technology, and experience of nursing staff and will be immediately obsolete.
Ideal measurement of nurse staffing incorporates nurse skill level and patient acuity.
John Armelagos is president of the Michigan Nurses Association.
He says having too many patients causes stress and fatigue for nurses, as well as the potential for mistakes.
"However, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association has historically not supported legislation that would require hospitals to implement minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios," Wotruba said in an email.
As more than a dozen states consider laws to establish hospital nurse-to-patient ratios, what has been the experience in California—the first state to establish such a rule—since the policy took full effect in 2005?This is especially serious when the wrong decision can be life-threatening to a patient.Nurses and healthcare workers are routinely forced to work beyond the end of their shift, sometimes up to 16 hours.Armelagos says the survey shows Michigan residents would support the legislation."Almost eight in 10 voters agreed quality patient care in Michigan hospitals is suffering because nurses are being assigned too many patients per shift." Armelago says the legislation could also help with the shortage of nurses.Current federal and state legislation for mandated nurse staffing falls short of the ideal plan.