Majority of hospitals have a shortage of nurses and this has been happening for many years. This affects the nurses’ and patients’ health. Nurses are exposed to a major workload that they need to handle somehow even if it is very exhausting and stressful. They will even take in extra shifts to care for the patients. Some states are doing their best to deal with the situation and others know it is happening, but feel as there isn’t much they can do. There is a difference from getting a perspective from a journalist and from an actual nurse who is experiencing the shortage of nurses. They will tell you how they have felt about the shortage, and how it affects them and the patients.
The situation was a major focus for Tenet South Florida Hospitals and Nova Southeastern University. They were focusing on expanding the nursing program because hospitals had a huge shortage of nurses around their area. They wanted to be able to train more people into nurses to be able to help this situation in hospitals because not only does it affect the nurses, but it affects the patients too. “The need for registered nurses has dramatically and negatively impacted patient care…in October 2002 nurses reported greater job dissatisfaction and emotional exhaustion when they were responsible for more patients than they can safely care for” (Frey, M.A. and Talbert, G). Since nurses are living in the situation where they need to care for more patients they are the ones that understand the situation more. They know they are working more than they can handle. The shortage of nurses makes them work over time and take care of more patients, which affects them tremendously. Working more than you can handle can cause health problems and exhaustion which can affect their ability to perform well. Not having their ability to perform well can cause risk on the patients because nurses need to stay focus and understand what is wrong with them. Another factor that affects the patients is that they need to deal with many patients and cannot focus on just one patient.
There was an article that I came across by Anthony J. Ezugwu and he asked nurses a series of questions in Bronx, New York to get an insight of their workforce. One of the questions was to know why they closed beds if they did and, “Nine percent stated a couple of years ago some hospitals were forced to close beds because the hospitals were phasing out licensed practicing nurses” (Anthony J. Ezugwu 2012). Hospitals were forced to close beds for patients because of the lack of nurses they had. They did not have enough nurses to take care of multiple patients. Having less nurses to take care of patients makes them do less of a good job when taking care of patients so they had to close beds. The nurses also talked about how patients were getting a lot more sick because there was not enough nurses to take care of every single one of them. Patients have less attention from nurses because they need to care for multiple patients and cannot focus on one or two specifically. Ezugwu found that, “Many nurses face a lot of stress because one nurse usually performs the duties that were supposed to be handled by 10 nurses [and] there was a time when some of the nurses felt sick because of the amount of their workload” (Anthony J. Ezugwu 2012). Nurses are affected by the workload they must do. They need to do extra shifts and take care of multiple patients at once and that affects them mentally and physically. If the nurses are stressed and are feeling sick they will most likely not perform their tasks as well as they used to.
The workload nurses need do is very exhausting and stressful because they must take care of multiple patients at once. They also need to work extra hours in order to care for the patients that need medical help. There are some states that are helping improve nursing programs to help the shortage of nurses. The way they are doing that is by giving a University grants for their nursing programs to get enough resources to help train students into nurses.