6 Things That Will Happen When We Don’t Have Enough Nurses
The nursing shortage has been an ongoing issue for many years, but this is all propaganda. We now know that there is no real shortage of nurses.
But then again, what will happen if we are short on nurses? What happens when there are not enough nurses in the healthcare field? Here are six things that will happen.
When Nurses Disappear
Nurses are the jack of all trades in the healthcare industry. They do almost everything. From completing their front desk duties to transferring patients, and laboratory work, nurses are there, working all the time.
But what will happen if a majority of the nurses are gone? Will the world remain the same? Six things could happen when nurses are no longer here to do their job.
1. There will be more burnouts
When there are not enough nurses, more nurses are compelled to work more and stay on longer shifts. There’s no more downtime, and spending time with their family and friends is little to none. Tasks will pile up, and the remaining nurses will feel overwhelmed.
This will drain them more to the point that they are no longer happy to do their job. In time, they will also quit, leaving fewer nurses to do the same routine and heading to the same route as their former colleagues.
If no more nurses are left, this cycle will continue until no one is left to care for the sick and dying.
2. Low-quality patient care
Burnout causes nurses to lose patience quickly. When you’re always tired, dealing with difficult patients is challenging. And worse, burnout nurses won’t bother getting to know their patients or their cases any longer.
This could affect the kind of care they give to their patients. And as a result, this could lead to poor quality care and many problems for patients and nurses.
3. More medical errors
No other healthcare professional stays with the patient longer than nurses. We are the ones who take care of the patient when the doctors are not around, and we make sure that all of them are taken care of. But what happens when a nurse is burned out? Tending to one patient can take around 15-20 minutes tops.
If you have ten patients waiting in line for their medication, you must take time and assess each medication so the right one goes to the correct patient. And when you’re a burned-out nurse, you could miss a small yet important detail about your patient’s medication. It can cost your patient’s life and your job on the line.
4. Low patient satisfaction
A burned-out nurse cannot provide quality patient care, leading to low patient satisfaction. The lack of available nurses can also affect this; many patients will feel like they are not given the care they came to the hospital for.
5. High mortality rate
Nurses are the ones who care for the sick and dying. When there are not enough nurses on the floor, emergency patients will be forced to wait longer.
Emergency services will be delayed, and medical assistance will also be slow. We know that time is of the essence, especially when it comes to critical patients. When nurses are burned out, the lives of our patients are at stake.
6. Animosity among nurses
A short-staffed hospital means more work for the remaining nurses. This puts them under a lot of pressure and stress. And when stress takes over, peer relationships can get strained easily.
Misunderstandings, like a simple bathroom break, coming in a few minutes late for work, or late endorsements, become a big deal to each other.
There is no nursing shortage if healthcare facilities take care of their nurses. Providing them with the help they need when they’re feeling down, like counseling or some needed time off, will make a difference.
Nurses are not robots; we must take care of them. If we want nurses to be around longer and happier, we must find a way to help them too.
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