Another facet of increased nursing loads that need to be addressed is the spectrum of cultures nurses are dealing with on a daily basis. As a retired registered nurse and patient at St. Joseph hospital, I know first-hand of the cultural issues that affect care of the diverse population.
Because of the increased patient loads and more complicated patients, nurses many times are unable to address such things as language barrier (i.e., the patient actually understanding what the nurse or doctor is saying), family participation, types of food that patient can eat, moral issues unique to the patient's culture and many more things.
Given all that needs to be done, our nurses do a wonderful job with prioritizing and doing what is most important. But with better staffing they would be able to address the multiple issues that affect the outcome of the different cultures they are serving.
This being said, I urge all, once again to support our nurses in their fight for their new contract. Give them the help they need to provide even better care than now.