Short Staffing Essay

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Short staffing is one of the many challenges nurses encounter in the work environment. The impacts can be detrimental primarily to the patient’s outcome. To examine the effects of short staffing, research was conducted on 36,539 hospital inpatients to evaluate the amount of those exposed to an understaffed shift and how many patient outcomes resulted in a NSO (Twigg, Gelder, & Myers, 2015). NSO’s are nurse sensitive outcomes based on the nursing care provided to the patient. Patients exposed to short staffing had an increase of greater than one chance of NSO’s compared to patients not exposed (Twigg et al., 2015). Short staffing decreases the quality of care provided to each patient, as nurses develop burnout with increase workload. Implementing helpful measures can decrease nurse burnout and the affect it has on patient outcomes. For example, PCSN (patient care support nurses) are a useful resource to provide when nursing staff is low. Nurses can also benefit from applying time management measures during their shifts, such as prioritizing and delegating. The impacts of short staffing may be minimal on patient care if these the proper measures are implemented.

Keywords: nursing, short staffing, burnout

Effects of Short-Staffing in the Nursing Profession
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This occurs when nurses provide care to more than the assigned patients, thus increasing patient workload. It affects the patient’s quality of care, increasing the risk for NSOs and other patient complications. Not only are patient outcomes affected, but nurses are experiencing increased burnout and fatigue. A safe nurse is necessary when providing care to ensure a safe and stable patient outcome. These concerns can be preventable by implementing and assigning the necessary tools to minimize effects on nurses and patient

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