Report: Heavier Workload For Nurses Increases Risk For Patients
October 23, 2002

A new study says the number of patients under a nurse's care can be a matter of life or death for the patients.

Researchers say patients had a greater chance of dying following surgery in hospitals where the nurses took care of more people.

Each additional patient for a nurse raised the risk of the patient's death in 30 days of admission by 7 percent.

A heavy workload also left nurses more likely to feel burned out and unhappy with their jobs.

Researchers say improving nurse staffing levels would not reduce patient deaths. They say it also would also keep nurses on the job at a time when hospitals nationwide are struggling to fill positions.

The lead researcher is at the University of Pennsylvania. The study is in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Associated Press and Dispatch Productions, Inc., 2002. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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