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 …show more content…
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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The idea of shift work is a common one, but for nurses this is not a simple changing of staff during a certain time, change of shift signifies a time of purposeful communication between nurses and patients, in order to promote patient safety and best practices (Caruso, 2007). During this time, there is the possibility for this critical opportunity to relay important information to become disorganized by extraneous information, rather than concentrating on the needs of the patient (Sullivan, 2010). Often the patient is left out of the conversation, and is not a part of the process. Patients and families can play an important role in making sure these transitions in care are safe and effective (AHRQ, 2013).
how could one expect to receive proper treatment in hospital when your nurse has more than 8 patients to care for which could lead to higher chances of negligence due to sheer exhaustion from over worked nurses. The possibility of patient- procedure- equipment related accidents would be higher. The problem of understaffing could be looked from the perspective of
Our nurses are being over worked and understaffed and no one is saying anything! There are mountains of evidence that show the adverse relationship between subpar nursing care and patient outcomes. Many people work overtime to make that overtime money because the hospital is usually understaffed. But because patient outcomes really depend on nurses to be in tip top shape, I think it is extremely important that hospitals eliminate working overtime. That is why I am asking policy makers to cosponsor the bill S. 1132: the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2015.
Caused by the constant demands of work and lack of taking breaks, burnout is a challenge in itself and can get even worse if gone untreated. More and more nurses have begun to feel the effects of burnout, raising a dire concern that healthcare workers while taking care of others, must also remember to care for themselves which can, unfortunately, go neglected when the work is so heavily focused on saving the lives of
Due to hospital care reaching an all-time high in America, we need nurses now more than ever before. Currently in America, we have an issue with nurses having too many paperwork to fill out. In the article “We Need More Nurses” by Alexandra Robbins argues we need more nurses in the hospital. Nursing shortage has been a common issue throughout the world. Because of this issue others are being affected in many different ways.
State-mandated nurse-to-patient ratios remains a controversial topic in healthcare. Sufficient nurse staffing is key to ensure adequate patient care, while scarce staffing effects patients’ safety and puts nurses at risk for burnout. Determining nurse-to-patient ratios in nursing facilities remains a challenge for the nursing profession. There are many factors to consider when determining staffing methods, such as cost, nurses’ satisfaction, patient outcomes and safety. Mandating ratios is one attempt at ensuring nurses’ workloads do not exceed what is needed for adequate patient care and safety.
In less acute circumstances, long term outcome of understaffing can also be detrimental to patient condition. Often, when a staff member is overwhelmed with the workload, nursing actions which are perceived less critical may be pushed to the back burner. Debilitated patients may not be turned and repositioned resulting in hospital acquired pressure ulcers, which not only affects patient outcome, but also taxes the hospital
This is important evidence because it gives us conditions and results of what can happen if patients get lower quality care. Patients’ are not having enough time getting checked up by a nurse, and nurses would miss some diagnostics. Patients are getting sick because of the poor care they are receiving from nurses. The care patients can get is affected by a nurse shortage, “Nursing workload definitely affects the time that a nurse can allot to various tasks. Under a heavy workload, nurses may not have sufficient time to perform tasks that can have a direct effect on patient safety.
Nurses fatigue is growing problem nurse face each day in the healthcare environment, and he can be caused by long hours, sleep deprivation, and possibly by accepting extra assignments can be dangerous for both nurses and patient. These inadequacies can result in major implications for the health and safety of registered nurses and can compromise patient care which can lead to fatalities. (American Nurses Association, 2014). In my experience, being fatigued from working much 12-hour shifts consecutively was very difficult as I felt extremely tired, resulting in lack of focus, missing important details during the handing over the process with impaired cognitive functioning. This I found was detrimental to the patients and myself as it impedes quality and has a deleterious effect on patient safety.
Understaffing in hospitals is a major problem that has been affecting healthcare workers and patients for many years. I have chosen to highlight understaffing as a patient safety issue because of the consequences that can arise from it. Shortages in staffing can result in an increase of infection rates (Stone et al., 2007) leading to complications and poorer patient outcomes (Needleman et al. 2002). This particular issue is of interest to me because I have experienced and witnessed it myself. As a midwifery student in a busy maternity hospital, I can appreciate the hard work and dedication each midwife gives to their patients.
Large patient loads combined with a stressful work environment affects nurses’ abilities to provide quality healthcare. Patient safety should never be compromised. It is our responsibility to learn from research and improve our current nurse staffing ratios. Nurse staffing is key and affects all other outcomes. Without nurses administering the right treatment at the right time to the right patients, all other healthcare interventions are not effective.
Just like a saw needs to stop being used in order to be sharpened, a nurse needs time off to recuperate; it’s as simple as that (Covey, 1989). It is important not to burn the candle at both ends, working more than the designated shifts and longer than 12 hours should be avoided. An example used regarding medication errors and working too many hours involves a nurse working a double shift on a pediatric oncology unit didn’t correctly prime an IV line and caused cardiac arrest in a patient (Kelley, 2004). Although nurses work three days a week, their hours remain the same as other full time employees that work the typical 5 day schedule. A nurse’s time off should be valued because they are the last line for patient care, they are the ones administering the medication the doctor prescribes and the pharmacy makes (Kelley, 2004).
The importance of staff retention Nurse retention is to provide staff with implements that will empower them in the workplace. Empowerment in organizational structures include power and opportunity. Employees with high levels of power are included in lines of information, support, resources and opportunities to learn and grow (Schwinger ET AL., 2010). In additional employees who have high levels of opportunity in their jobs tend to be more proactive problem solvers and accept change. When staff have opportunity and power, they are motivated, feel more in control, have increased wellbeing and have greater job satisfaction (Schwinger ET AL., 2010).
It is important to identify why nurses are becoming stressed and how to reduce work related stress. The past 10 years there has been an increase in stress levels for nursing staff. In 2001 a survey was conducted by “American Nurses Association”. The study results showed that 70.5% of nurses cited the acute and chronic effects of stress and overwork among their top three health and safety