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Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses
TABLE 5-1 Variations in Nurse-to-Patient Ratios in Pennsylvania Hospitals, 1999
Patients per Nurse
Percent of Respondents Reporting
SOURCE: Aiken et al. (2002).
and Gergen, 1998; Kovner et al., 2002; Lichtig et al., 1999; Needleman et al., 2002; Sochalski, 2001). Some studies specific to ICU staffing have been conducted; information on staffing levels in other hospital units, including medical–surgical units, is sparse.
Overall hospital staffing As stated above, a problem with hospital-level aggregation is that when heterogeneous nursing units, such as pediatric units, labor and delivery units, adult medical–surgical units, and ICUs, are combined, hospital-wide staffing levels may not well represent the levels experienced by patients in a given nursing unit, and the findings of research can be clouded. Table 3-3 in Chapter 3 (replicated here as Table 5-2) indi-
TABLE 5-2 Types of Work Units in Which Hospital-Employed RNs Spend More Than Half of Their Direct Patient Care Time