Here’s an interesting take on the nursing shortage. This story is from pasadenastarnews.com. The article is a guest column that was written during nurse’s week. The author takes a look at patient care staffing issues, which is always in and out of the news. Is there or is there not a nurse shortage.
This is what author Susan Gordon came to realize in her column, her opinion is that hospitals bear a lot of responsibility despite the fact that there seems to be a nursing shortage on paper. In many ways there are reasons that hospitals are contributing to unfilled nursing positions need to be filled with new nurses that had just graduated. Whatever you need to do to fill those jobs you do it. If you need to put a new or less experienced nurse in there, it is still better than having a nurse that’s been working 15-20 years or longer and double up her patient load.
So hospitals are bearing some of the responsibilities according to Susan. I think this makes sense. We’ve seen hospitals that think nurses are expendable. When a nurse makes an error because the hospital has an unsafe staffing environment, that nurse gets fired. It’s the nurse’s fault. That hospital will bear no responsibility for the fact for that nurse being put in a position where she was going to make a mistake. It was just a matter of time until that happened.
Hospitals dragging their feet, not filling positions quickly, just letting the nurses that are already on staff continue to work extra shifts and work with more patients than they probably can safely handle and what ends up happening is the hospitals will just hold on to that extra money and use it for other funding for other things. I see a lot of hospitals building a lot of fancy facilities around their area yet we still complain there are still not enough nurses to fill all the positions and nurses are still over worked and understaffed.
I think there’s a time and a place for these things but we don’t need to be building fancy facades and extra office buildings for the physicians when those hospitals can’t adequately staff the nurses there. I think this is important to keep track of and I like this point of view. It’s a different take on the nurse staffing shortage and nurse staffing in general. I think it’s a different take and something you should read.
This article has been featured in the news segment of the Nursing Show episode Therapeutic Hypothermia In Critical Care Setting and Episode 179.