The unit I chose to focus on is pediatric unit. It is a hospital area used to deliver patient care to children. It is designed to meet the children’s needs. The unit can be conceptualized within the context of system’s theory. As a system, the unit consists of inputs, throughputs, elements, outputs and feedback loops.
Nurse staffing involves the kinds and numbers of personnel needed to offer care to the client. It is also the process of ascertaining the appropriate mix and number of nursing resources to address the demands and pressures of nursing care. Children obtain quality care from the professional team known for their commitment and compassion.
Systems theory considers an organization as a complex set of interconnected elements, such as outputs, processes, inputs, the environment and feedback loops (Meyer, & O’Brien-Palla, 2010). Inputs include resources used in patient care, such as physical conditions and personnel. In the unit, the pediatric nurses use clients’ information and their medical knowledge to assess and manage the health issues of the patient. Other inputs include care recipients, staff, money, material resources. The unit has playroom, conference room and family kitchen, all of which are vital to preserving family dynamics.
In relation to throughout, the nurses perform physical examination, diagnose and plan care for their patients. Nurses also take vital signs, share information with patients and write prescriptions based on the diagnosis. Organizational factors refers to the form of organization employed in providing patient care via policies and rules, the type of specialization and the level of work specialization (Hall, 2005). The Unit offers specialized equipment, monitoring systems and special technology tailored specifically for young children.
Output components involve organizational outcomes, clinic outcome and human resource outcomes. Organizational outcomes refer to the quality and quantity of health delivered, and efficient utilization of resources. Human resource outcomes include better health, and patient safety.
Workload factors examine the workload imposed by patients on physical resources and personnel. Overload result from low level of staffing. Low staffing levels and patients’ chronic condition are leading to overload. Environmental factors involve those factors which impact patient care including medical staff’s organization and other hospital units. Outputs concern patient outcomes like the quality and quantity of care provided. Due to positive clinical outcomes, the community continues to utilize the resources of the organization. Staff retention ensures continuity in the provision of care services (Meyer, & O’Brien-Palla, 2010).
The nurse staffing falls within the context of input component. The major issue in the unit is the inadequate staff to meet the needs of patients. Appropriate staffing levels, as well as skill mix are important to maximize quality and safety of care delivery. The Unit’s mission is to offer the psychological, developmental, and medical needs of patients and their parents in a safe environment (Hall, 2005). However, the storage of nurses has been a barrier to fulfilling this mission.
The objective is to improve staffing levels necessary to improve clinical and organizational outcomes. One strategy of improving nurse staffing is by hiring new nurses and retaining existing ones. Another strategy is to create slack resources via loosening performance targets like reducing the patient’s length of stay. On its part, the organization should improve the working condition, environment and provide enough fiscal resources.
As professionals, nurses have professional responsibility to plan, create, implement, as well as assess review mechanisms to protect patients and colleagues. One of these safeguards or protections is staffing plans.
Hall, L. M. G. (2005). Quality work environments for nurse and patient safety. Sudbury, Mass; Toronto: Jones and Bartlett Pub.
Meyer, R. M. & I’Brien-Palla, L. (2010). Nursing Services Delivery Theory: an open system approach. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(12): 2828–2838.
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