Insufficient nurses: a Problem that needs to be Solved!

In a hospital, it is not just doctors who have the responsibility of saving lives. Just think for a moment, you are admitted to a hospital in a very bad health condition, the doctor has prescribed you medicine and injections, but there are not sufficient nurses to provide you with that. Scary, isn’t it?
Nurse burnout has been a problem in the healthcare industry for a long time, and with time, the condition is actually getting worse. Let’s dig a bit deeper into the problem. If we can analyze the whole situation, find out the reason(s) behind it, then making a solution to resolve the problem will also be easy.

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Outcome of Nursing Burn Out

“If there are not enough nurses at the bedside, bad things are likely to happen,” said Matthew McHugh, associate professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia
The equation is very simple, when there are not enough nurses to take care of patients, their condition will become worse. Infections will increase, diseases will take the more critical turn and mortality rate will increase.
Some years back a report was published in the American Journal of Infection Control. According to that report, because of the nurse burnout in Pennsylvania, the rate of catheter infection increased as one infection per 1,000 patients. According to the Health Services Research study, Pennsylvania could have reduced their overall mortality rate by 11-14% if they had a good patient-to-nurse staffing ratio.
Not only that, the result of nurse shortage has also been the reason for overall financial loss for many hospitals. As per the report published by Alliance for Organizational Excellence, for every 1% change in annual nurse turnover, hospitals lose almost $3,00,000. So this is high time that the medical industry experts come out with the solid solution.

Reason behind Nurse Shortage

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration’s study, hospital nursing vacancies are about to reach 8,00,000 (29% increase) by 2020. The number of registered nurses is going to grow only 6%, whereas the demand is about to increase by 40%. This huge difference between demand and supply is about to create some serious problems in providing healthcare.
But why is this nurse burnout taking place? The scarcity of nursing educators in the industry is one of the many reasons for that. Mercy Hospital St. Louis made a study last year and came out with the fact that severe job dissatisfaction is another reason for this shortage in the number of nursing professionals

Strategies to Solve this Problem

Well, the problem is clear, now we have to come out with a solution. Here are some strategies that can solve the whole nurse burnout problem and bring the healthcare industry into a good shape.

#Strategy 1: One of the major and clear reasons behind lack of people getting into nursing profession is that nursing is losing its charm as a field of profession. With the constant rise of demand and extreme work pressure, nurses are losing interest in their work and not being able to encourage others to take this service as a profession. So there has to be some way that the nursing care as a job can again get its charm back.
Online and offline stress reduction classes will help nurses to regain their interest in their profession. There should be mentorship programs where professionals will have someone to encourage them for better performance and boost engagement. Recognition and awards will be helpful to act as short-term professional boost up factor.

#Strategy 2: As lack of proper training is another reason for the shortage of nurse employment, it is a high time that the Government starts focusing more towards providing proper nursing education and certification.
According to an article published by Rasmussen College, with an average age of 50 or above, a vast number of nurse educators are aging out of their profession. The quality of faculties and patterns of practical and theoretical training need immediate improvement. Even for professional nurses, offering continuous training and education will allow them to become experts in their field and achieve professional development successfully.

The situation needs to be changed, as peoples’ lives depend on it… literally!

Posted by: Susan Taylor

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