When we seek medical care we rightfully expect to receive the best care possible, especially when it comes to matters like surgery, recovery care, and care for family members and friends in nursing homes. Unfortunately however, that is not always the case. In the last decade there has been a massive shortage of health care professionals.
These huge shortages in health care are causing a significant impact on the quality of treatment for those patients requiring medical care. In addition, many external factors contribute to the organizations capacity to provide the highest level of quality care to their patients.
This review will provide a look at the external factors that contribute to the lack of personnel and the resulting impact on the organization because of these shortages in workers.
Patrick Reilly (2203) points out that the nursing shortage is affecting the entire force of heath care positions, including home health care, nursing homes, radiological treatments, and pharmacists. In addition, the shortages are being felt throughout the hospitals administrative positions as well as doctors. “
These shortages are causing a lower degree of care to the patients” (http://www.ahrq.gov/research/nov01/1101RA12.html) “The long work days, financially constraints and other workforce problems create low morale, poor quality care, medical mistakes and even patient death” (http://www.hlc.org/html/workforce.html).
There is another major reality to the shortage of health care services, especially those of nurses. It is know that women have come to enjoy a far greater range of career choices than in the past, and men are still not entering nursing in significant numbers.
Men comprise only about 6% of working U.S. nurses. Poor relations with physicians, including lack of physician respect, physician disruptive behavior and major communication failures, continue to be a problem for nurses, especially where nurses’ status is lower.
Most women in nursing have not made the gains in workplace empowerment that many of their sisters in other professions have. Required. Unfortunately, a critical nursing faculty shortage driven by inadequate financial support has hampered efforts to train sufficient numbers of nurses; nursing schools have turned away or waitlisted many qualified applicant.
The health care shortage is complex, but can be divided up between demographics and the economy. Reilly (2003) points out that demographics are based on the major fact that the entire workforce is aging and the baby boomers born between 1946 to 1964 will of retirement age in 2011 thus only intensify the competition for workers.
And economy we are seeing a major decline in nursing school graduates. Some major quality concerns were outlined at the health workforce shortages web conference that was held in April 2003: “by 2020 there will be a shortage of more than 800,000 registered nurses in the U.S. alone, many home health providers and nursing home facilities are reporting turnover rates ranging from 40% – 105% per year, and 89% of the medical organizations reported difficulty recruiting registered nurses from the period of 1999-2001.”
In addition, studies on the website http://www.academyhealth.org/ulp/index.htm web based conference reported that a study in Pennsylvania found that surgical patients in hospitals with high patient to nurse ratio experienced higher rates of mortality and deaths. To that end, the nurses working in those facilities tended to experience greater burnout and more dissatisfaction with their jobs.
The question of what to do about this decline in health care personnel has been a topic of concern for years now. Experts will agree that two solutions will aid in this problem; recurring and retaining.
Many companies focus on retaining their medical professional by offering vary flexible schedules, tuition reimbursement, additional on-sit training, and some offer on-site day care. Retaining the current employees is a key to every organizations success, in addition is the easiest and most cost effective method of meeting staffing standards.
Those hospital organizations that provide above standard staffing, completive wages, and a teamwork atmosphere have better stats of retaining the medical professionals at their disposal (http://www.nlrb.gov/nlrb/shared_files/decisions/334/334-56.htm).
Although retention is more cost effective, recruiting is vital for the future of any business. Nurses, im-partiuclar, that are recruited are provided nice package deals to work for various hospitals.
These packages range from signing bonuses, education vouchers for car loans, even tuition repayment programs. However, according to the state of Ohio, http://www.ohanet.org/workforce/FAQ.asp, “the usual fixes, such as hiring bonuses, flooding schools of nursing and encouraging retired nurses back into the system, will not be enough to meet the needs of Ohio citizens.” As does most the states feel the same way!