Letter to the Editor by Smith on "Patient Safety: Who Guards the Patient?"

Patient Safety: Who Guards the Patient?

February 23, 2004
in response to toopic Patient Safety: Who Guards the Patient? (September 30, 2003)

Dear Editor:

I write in response to the topic of Patient Safety. I've been a nurse for over 12 years now, working in various areas of nursing, both inside and out of the hospital. I am increasingly bothered by the low nurse to patient ratios, which do not allow for adequate and safe patient care. I know we continue to talk about issues, such as additional education for nurses and putting nursing on the map as a profession; but what the situation boils down to is SAFE patient outcomes. Nurses like myself, who are holding on for the love of patient care, are slipping away because staffing simply isn't adequate. Most days I walk away just thanking God that no one had an adverse event on my watch. My solution to this situation is to take care of the safety issue, low nurse/patient ratios, and our other issues will fall into place, or at least be more manageable. The year 2010 is just around the corner and we're running out of time.

Kelly M. Smith, RN, BSN