A Chronic Kidney Disease patient conducting Dialysis sent an email to KidneyBuzz.com and said, "My Dialysis Center is terrible. There are always alarms blaring and there are never enough Patient Care Technicians. They are very rude and it feels like I am just a number at the center. Is there any sort of patient to technician ratio?"
The answer to this great and common question is, "No." Currently, Dialysis Organizations typically set a 4 to1 patient ratio (four patients for every one Patient Care Technician), but some patients have noted ratios of 5 to 1 or 6 to 1 or even worse. Large patient numbers to small numbers of technicians may lead to high rates of error (causing patients more issues that would otherwise be avoided), worse service, unsafe facilities, higher rates of depression and demoralization among patients who feel like no one cares about their wellbeing, and even higher rates of patients not attending Dialysis. Well, a new bill is set to implement a standard ratio that most Dialysis patients will welcome to help improve their treatments.
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Introduced in California, a bill has been developed to create minimum staffing requirements for Dialysis Clinics as well as establish a minimum transition time between patients so that Patient Care Technicians do not have to rush from one patient finishing treatment, to another preparing to begin.
The bill was introduced by State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and proposes the following mandatory staffing ratios for dialysis clinics in California:
- Registered nurses: 1:8
- Patient care technicians: 1:3
- Social workers: 1:75
If passed, this bill will only impact patients conducting Dialysis in California. However, as the popular saying suggests, "As goes California so goes the nation," should this bill pass, it will set a benchmark and a standard of care for Dialysis Facilities across the country.
Opponents of the bill suggest that these new regulations could restrict facility flexibility, reduce available treatment shifts, lead to centers closing, and limit access to certain modalities like Nocturnal Dialysis.
While supporters of the legislation suggest otherwise, what do you think? Do you believe that minimum staffing requirements would improve Dialysis patient outcome or hinder overall treatment?
Weigh-in with your own pros and cons at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page which has over 58,000 friends (click here). While you are there, like the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page and visit KidneyBuzz.com regularly (140,000 monthly viewers) for the latest tailored breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives. You may become a regular visitor like, Tom Johnson who said, "Kidney Buzz is the best source information for any patient that suffers from kidney disease. I'm happy that I found the advertisement for the Kidney Buzz warning bracelet that put me in touch. Thank you for all that you do."