Safe Nursing Staffing in Paediatric Hospitals

Background: The calibre of the nursing staff of paediatric hospitals is inextricably linked to the quality of care and safety of hospitalized children. Studies show a positive effect of staff/patient ratio in reducing mortality, infections and errors in medication. Aim: To investigate the staffing ratios in paediatric hospitals internationally. Method: A literature review was performed in the PubMed, CINAHL and Medline databases for the period from 2000 to 2010 using and combining the key-words: “children”, “hospital”, “nurses”, “staff”. Results: In hospitals with the lowest staffing levels, located in European countries such as Belgium, Holland, Iceland, the UK and Greece, two paediatric nurses correspond to every shift throughout the course of 24 hours. In the US and Australia the ratios of nurses/ children show hardly any change and have remained stable over recent years. The European Network suggests that in every shift, 70% of nurses should be paediatric nurses and 30% non-specialized nurses. It is proposed that one registered paediatric nurse should care for each 3 children aged less than 2 years, 4 children of older ages and 5 children during the night shift. For the specialized units where usually 1/3 of the children require increased medical care, one registered paediatric nurse should nurse 2-3 children who need increased medical care. The main concern of managers is to find mechanisms and strategies for the recruitment of qualified nurses and to pay special attention to their training. Conclusions: Adequate nursing staffing of paediatric hospitals should be maintained and institutionalized in accordance with the documented needs of child care.

Category: Volume 50, N 2
Hits: 687 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2011
Authors: Efrosini Vlachioti , Εvagelos Dousis , Vasiliki Matziou