The nursing practice is being confronted by many challenges, including ethical issues, controversies related to wages, competence, and safety (Shapiro, 2009). The purpose of this assignment is to focus on the changes that could be made to ensure the economic, clinical, and social safety of nurses when they are executing their roles.
It is common knowledge that nursesto use the equipments that have been provided by the hospital managements. From a global perspective, most of the countries do not have enough resources to purchase efficient and sufficient equipment for the nurses to use during their work. The deficiency of equipments poses a critical challenge to their clinical safety since insufficient and inefficient equipment exposes them to the danger of contracting diseases such as influenza and blood-transmitted illnesses. In cases where resources could be available, such as the developed countries like USA, it is upon the management to decide on the purchase of equipments. If the management does not meet the required supply of equipment due to ignorance, the nurses are prone to unsafe conditions of operation (Manzie, 2013).
In addition, nurses are subjected to mandatory overtime due to the increasing workload bearing in mind that medical institutions are not capable of training new professional at a rate that is equivalent to the one in which the workload is added. Considering that the nurses also have other crucial roles such as bringing up their children, this condition poses a great challenge to the safety of their social life as wives and mothers. Another issue of safety that has been noted is conjoined to the staffing levels. This profession has been affected profoundly by unsafe staffing levels that have increased pressure and reduced fatigue (Sullivan, 2009). All these problems occur besides poor pay that has forced nurses to conduct strikes owing to unsafe economic status occasioned by low wages.
The importance of creating safe working environment for nurses in regard to their economic, social, and health-related aspects cannot be emphasized sufficiently. Their clinical safety ensures that the practitioners are fit for work considering that the number of professional is deficient. Safe staffing levels guarantee an effective provision of services because sufficient staffing allows equal and reasonable distribution of workload. As a result, it could be concluded resolutely that the issue of safety is probably one of the most crucial issues in the nursing profession.
Evidence Based Change
It has been observed that hospitals have fought against the creation of nursing unions continuously. They consider these unions as elements and institutions of propagating defiance among the practitioners. However, the hospitals and healthcare authorities must adopt a spirit of accepting and encouraging the formation of those unions (Baumann, 2009). In essence, they should redefine their institutional systems to include the nurses when making critical decisions regarding the purchase and use of equipments. The inclusion is based on the premises that nurses understand the needs of the institution and patients in a better manner than the management. It could be thus extremely appropriate to involve them when making critical decisions.
In addition, the nursing unions will help to raise their grievances to the authorities concerning wages. The low wages received by the nurses has been a major source of diminished motivation during accomplishment of roles (Gulledge, 2012). Whereas it seems as if all is well, the nurses still feel the pinch, but they lack efficient avenues to deliver grievances. As a result, the idea of forming unions is viewed as an element of bettering the profession rather than propagating opposition against healthcare authorities.
Evidence Supporting the Proposed Change
Johnson & Billingsley (2014) conducted a very current research on the importance of the nurses’ unions, not only to the practitioners, but also to the patients and the welfare of the healthcare systems. They suggested that one of the solutions to the reduced professional morale is cultivating unity among nurses. They further stated that active participation in unions could improve that satisfaction of nurses in their work and increase the effectiveness of safety measures that have been put in place.
Importantly, the researchers revealed that a recent survey by the Federation of Nurses has shown that 20 percent of employed nurses are planning to drop the profession due to unsafe working conditions. In accordance to this research, the main reasons that have caused this shift included extreme understaffing, severe acuity, stressful nature of the work, mandatory overtime, as well as poor working conditions. The research also established that 80 percent of the nurses advocate for the formation of effective unions that could address their grievances and solve the current issues of unsafe conditions.
Sprinks (2014) portrayed the spirit of active unions where she warned against the underestimation of nurses’ retirement. In her research, she restated one of the most thoughtful statements arguing that nurses are not mere servants with a menial skill of handling patients. Instead, they are respectable and knowledgeable professionals who play an imperative role in determining a patient’s condition and outcome.
Further, she advances an argument against the mythical sentiment which advocates that nurses should put the patients’ need before personal requirements. In this regard, she stated that the idea of considering nurses as servantsneeds, is a double-edged sword when it comes to balancing the requirement of nurses and patients. In fact, she stated resolutely that the ideology of service should not be used to renounce the right of nurses as human beings and their right of uniting.
Evaluation of Change
In essence, the improvisation of changes must be evaluated to determine whether they result to the intended effect. When the nurses are allowed to take part in making critical decisions and determinations, the resultant effect could be evaluated by conducting a survey. Questionnaires will be used to conduct an interview where the practitioners give their opinions concerning the impacts of the implemented changes. The data will be analyzed qualitatively in order to determine the overall change in terms of morale, expectations of dropping out from the profession, and safety during work.
It is evident that the nursing profession is affected profoundly by unsafe working condition in terms of their clinical, financial and social aspects. This condition has led to little morale among the nurses and inefficient services. In addition, it has been established that free unionization of nurses could help to reduce the affliction incurred regarding safety. The unions will form avenues of making proposition that could assist the management to improve the healthcare system and hospitals’ operations. Previous research has shown a major positivity towards formation of unions. Most nurses believe that the unionization will improve the standards of this profession and increase motivation. The research studies also seek to change the perception that the authorities, and the public has towards the practitioners. Essentially, nurses are not mere servants, but knowledgeable personnel playing an important role in the healthcare system.
Baumann, S. (2009). Improving the Profession of Nursing in Slovenia. Nursing Science Quarterly, 22(4), 369-370.
Gulledge, E. (2012). Current Trends in Nursing and Care: Status of the Profession. Journal of Nursing & Care, 01(04), 249-254.
Johnson, J., & Billingsley, M. (2014). Convergence: How Nursing Unions and Magnet are Advancing Nursing. Nursing Forum, 4, 132-145.
Manzie, J. (2013). Nurses Ideally Placed to Champion Plight of Neglected Group. Nursing Standard, 27(24), 31-32.
Shapiro, S. (2009). Concern about The Nursing Profession. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 35(5), 401.
Sprinks, J. (2014). School Nurse Retirement is Underestimated, Unions Warn. Nursing Standard, 28(21), 15.
Sullivan, T. (2009). Concern about the Nursing Profession. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 35(3), 183-184.