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Using supplemental and floating staff can be beneficial in many ways. Nurses can go where they are needed to fill positions and floors that are understaffed. COIVD has shown that in higher populated areas that more nurses are needed to accommodate the number of patients that are being admitted to the hospital. These trained nurses can help with patient volume making it a safer environment for patients (Aiken et al., 2007). The disadvantages of this can include nurses not having as much experience or training before tackling patients on their own (Aiken et al., 2007).

This would vary on specific floors because some floors may need the extra help while nurses may not be fully trained to meet the demands. Just like with COVID. I have seen a lot of new staff floating to the progressive care unit to help with the high patient volume. Nurses do not always know where equipment is or how to handle the chronic conditions with COVID. I have even seen nurses miss low oxygen saturation levels because they are not used to it having to be monitored 24/7. I think ultimately it is important to supplement and float staff to help with patient volume, but it is important that the staff is completely trained for specific units so they can give the patient the best care as possible.

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A resource known as “floating” is often used by healthcare institutions to arrange for for unanticipated staff vacancies. This is when a nurse from one clinical unit gets transferred to another unit to fill the vacancy. (Yoder-Wise, 2018) One of the benefits of using this supplemental and floating is staff is that it is cost-effective and can be utilized as an alternative rather than using a staffing agency or calling in nurses to work at an overtime rate. (O’Connor, K., Dugan, J., 2017) Another benefit is that it gives nurses the opportunity to work in different units and specialty areas that require treating different types of patients, which can improve the nurses knowledge and sharpen their skills on effective treatments and lead to better patient outcomes. One of the disadvantages to supplemental and floating staff is the lack of familiarity and less experience to the new unit that they are being transferred to. Some nurses may be reassigned to a unit outside their scope of competence, which means that they can only provide basic care needs and not acquire a complete and independent assignment, which can also cause inadequate patient care. (Yoder-Wise, 2018) I feel that this would vary depending on which unit, such as if they are being floated to medical-surgical or ICU floor, because it can be more complex and delicate in these specific areas that require more attention and care, especially when the floating nurse has no prior experience.