Travel Nurses and Patient Care


Travel Nurses exist not just so you can build an awesome career and have great adventures throughout the country (although these sure are amazing perks!). Travel Nursing helps facilities provide better patient care and obtain better patient results, all the while taking some of the burden off of their perm nurses.

But even with the benefits of Travelers to help sustain hospital staffing levels, are you and your colleagues — whether perm staff or Travel Nurses — getting enough time to devote to patient care?

A recent Wall Street Journal, “Nurses Shift, Aiming for More Time With Patients,” tackles just that issue, detailing facilities that are working to allow nurses more time for paperwork and less time for administrative and other tasks.

The article states that some studies show that between “hunting for supplies, tracking down medications, filling out paperwork at the nursing station and looking for missing test results,” nurses can spend as few as less than two hours of a 12-hour shift engaged in direct patient care. Conversely, the article says, citing additional research, the more time nurses are able to spend at the bedside, the more satisfied patients are. With more direct patient care from nurses, patients are also less likely to suffer falls, infections, and errors in medication.

The WSJ piece discusses how some hospitals are working to shift extraneous and administrative tasks to CNAs and other staff members, freeing nurses to provide more engaged patient care as well as being there to comfort and educate family members.

“We shouldn’t be using expensive professional nursing time doing unnecessary and inefficient things when that time could be reinvested in direct patient care,” Patricia Rutherford, a nurse and vice president at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement told the WSJ.

My favorite part of the article is when a nurse, Corinne White, is quoted talking about how when she is able to be more present with patients they are more likely to open up to her and , in turn, more likely to efficiently and openly communicate their needs, which all leads to a superior patient outcome. It was Nurse White’s commentary on the importance of nurse-patient bonding that really hits home as to why this issue is so important.

Whether in past perm positions or at various facilities during your career as a Traveler, what have you noticed about Travel Nurses and patient care time available? Have you seen major fluctuations between different facilities in how much time you are spending on patient care?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments — on Travel Nurses and patient care, or anything else regarding this interesting WSJ article.

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