JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A study out of Pennsylvania shows something many already agree on, nurses are important.
The study looked at the Kaiser Permanente model of health delivery in hospitals.
Overall the number of nurses, work environment and level of degrees had an impact on the quality of health care along with fewer errors in the hospital environment.
Hospitals across Region 8 strive to give quality health care to the entire region, as well.
The number of patients per nurse was a big part of the study and here in Region 8 most patient to nurse ratios vary by department.
At St. Bernards Hospital, intensive care units have 1 nurse to 2 patients, medical and surgery has a 1-to-6 ratio, step down units are 1 to 4 and labor and delivery has 1 nurse for every 1 patient.
Joanne Woodward has over 30 years of nursing experience and is a total joint and stroke coordinator for St. Bernards.
She said it takes empathy and compassion to be a nurse, along with the desire to help someone get better and help educate them on how to change their lives for the better.
"All of those things are what makes good health care and the kind of things nurses do," Woodward said. "You know, we need to care, we need to understand, we need to respect, we need to teach. I also think we need to be knowledgeably."
Woodward said there are stresses with her job, but getting to see patients improve and change makes it worth it.
She said she builds relationship with all of her patients, and she feels those relationships directly correlate with the patients' desire to get better.
Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould does its patient to nurse ratio by shifts.
With 129 beds, AMMC has 1 nurse for every 5 to 6 patients for the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift.
For the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift, there is around 1 nurse for every 6 to 7 patients, and from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. 1 nurse for every 7 to 8 patients.
NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital has 1 nurse for every 6 patients on medical and surgical floors and lower ratios for higher acuity areas.
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