Developing a policy isn’t an easy task. There are multiple factors that need to be examined and thought about while developing a policy. We have all seen a lot of changes to policies with the new corona virus (COVID19) that is going around in our world today. Sometimes these policies are changed daily, and we often wonder why and how. There are multiple competing needs due to this virus such as the health of the population, the health of the healthcare workers, the availability of tests and personal protective equipment (PPE) to name a few. With information and circumstances changing how fast they are, it’s hard to create a policy and stick to it.
The competing needs I chose for my national healthcare issue/stressor is what is going on with COVID19. There is so much going on that its exhausting thinking about it. Some competing needs would be the lack of healthcare professionals, the lack of proper PPE and the lack of tests and then also the overabundance of false positives and false negatives.
Topol (2020) rote about how the United States has betrayed healthcare workers during this COVI19 pandemic, stating that multiple young healthcare workers are dying from the virus due to over exposure due to not having proper PPE or reusing PPE especially when taking care of or being around multiple people in a day.
The Center for Disease Control (2020) provides strategies on how to optimize the supply of PPE. They have all the information about how to extend the shelf life of certain PPE (such as the N95) and when to dispose of them. I know we all can say something about having to reuse masks that we so commonly got rid of after just one use before the pandemic. But this shows how low shortage we are that even our own government wants us to extend the product even past the manufacturers use and shelf life.
Rob Stein (2020) posted results from a new researched about how sensitive some of the fastest test for COVID19 are, and it turns out they aren’t as sensitive as one thought. It makes me wonder what type of test we are using at my hospital because we have still gotten a lot of false negatives, there are tests out there that have a 95% and greater accuracy rate.
Creating policies would greatly impact these needs. We need better and more sensitive tests, available to every hospital so we can get the correct number of people infected. We need better PPE so we can be safe and not spread the virus further and we need our precious healthcare workers. Policies addressing these issues will help lead us to a better place with this virus.
Center for Disease Control. (2020). Strategies to optimize the supply of PPE and equipment. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/index.html
Topol, E. (2020). US betrays healthcare workers in coronavirus disaster. Retrieved from https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/927811#vp_2
Stein, B. (2020). Study raises questions about false negatives from quick COVID-19 test. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/04/21/838794281/study-raises-questions-about-false-negatives-from-quick-covid-19-test
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.
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.
In the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare facilities took a direct hit in there supplies. Supplies such as masks, hand sanitizers, thermometers, thermometer probe covers, alcohol swabs, disinfecting wipes, gauze, gloves, and many more items, were suddenly in high demand. With the high demand, came shortages. Healthcare facilities were now struggling for their everyday supplies that were and are needed to protect themselves and their patients. Since there was a shortage of supplies, single use masks were being worn for extended amounts of time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2020), recommended the healthcare staff to reuse certain items, such as masks, to try to combat the shortage. Homemade cloth masks are being worn in the place of surgical masks and providing less effective protection for healthcare workers and the patients.
Nurse’s are being pulled from their job position to sit up in front of a business and take patient temperatures, while the others on their team are working short. When nurses are working short and carrying a higher patient workload, stress, exhaustion and frustration begin to set in. When the nurses are stressed, the patient’s feel it too. When nurses are not able to do their jobs due to being short on supplies or staff, then their patient ethics are compromised. Kelly & Porr (2018) recommended that effective communication be encouraged during times of stress to maintain ethical care. Communication can go a very long way.
Nursing ethical awareness is realizing the importance of the decisions that you make and the effect it has on your patients and career. Ethical awareness needs to be increased so that nurses can provide the safest ethical care to their patient’s (Milliken, 2018). Patient care relates directly back to a facility, whether it be good or bad. But by communicating with the nurses about issues such as supplies or staffing and encouraging nurses to have a heightened ethical awareness, can help the healthcare organizations develop their policies and procedures.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-recommendations.html
Kelly, P. & Porr, C. (2018) “Ethical Nursing Care Versus Cost Containment: Considerations to Enhance RN Practice” OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 23, No. 1, Manuscript 6. http://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-23-2018/No1-Jan-2018/Ethical-Nursing-Cost-Containment.html
Milliken, A., (January 31, 2018) “Ethical Awareness: What It Is and Why It Matters” OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 23, No. 1, Manuscript 1. http://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-23-2018/No1-Jan-2018/Ethical-Awareness.html
Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days by providing additional thoughts about competing needs that may impact your colleagues’ selected issues, or additional ideas for applying policy to address the impacts described.
Great post, and I agree that having good leadership makes the flow of the floor so much better. But like you said it’s not just leadership but also co-workers, teamwork which makes it a better work environment. In return hospitals can retain nurses that they already invested their time in. Contemporary health care environments are increasingly challenged by issues associated with the recruitment and retention of qualified nursing staff. This challenge is particularly felt by residential aged care providers, with registered nurse (RN) numbers already limited and resident acuity rapidly rising (Venturato & Drew, 2015). When leaders do not support their staff, the staff get burn out and that is the leading cause of nurses quitting. Burnout and engagement are critical conditions affecting patient safety and the functioning of healthcare organizations; the areas of worklife model suggest that work environment characteristics may impact employee burnout and general worklife quality (Lewis & Cunningham, 2016).
Lewis, H., & Cunningham, C., (2016). Linking Nurse Leadership and Work Characteristics to
Nurse Burnout and Engagement. Nursing Research, 65, 13-23.
Venturato, L., & Drew, L., (2015) Beyond ‘doing’: Supporting clinical leadership and nursing
practice in aged care through innovative models of care, Contemporary Nurse, 35:2, 157-
170, DOI: 10.5172/conu.2010.35.2.157