- The nurse staffing shortage at Mercy Hospital has several negative consequences for nurses and patients.
- Taylor Clark, RN, BSN at Mercy Hospital said, ” Working short-staffed is a problem for all parties involved. There is a greater chance for mistakes to happen when there are unsafe patient to nurse ratios. The patients receive a decreased quality of care because the nurse’s time is already stretched thin between patients.”
- Because of nurse understaffing, nurses cannot provide the maximum care to patients, which is unsafe, and nurses encounter career dissatisfaction that only fuels the understaff cycle.
- This problem at Mercy Hospital is a microcosm of the American health care system.
Ask the Nurse: Nurse Staffing Shortage at Mercy Hospital
Nurses have a unique role in the healthcare system today, providing compassionate care to individuals, families, groups, communities and populations around the world.
Nurses work on the frontlines of the American health system and are among the largest portion of the healthcare workforce.
While the role of nurses is greatly valued, nurse staffing is a health policy issue that has persisted for many years.
The nurse staffing shortage is a growing issue in the American healthcare system today. As the demand for patient care increases, nurses are being forced to care for more patients with less resources. Because of this, nurses cannot provide the maximum care to patients.
“Many times, I feel that the care I am providing is unsafe. A low level of staffing decreases the quality of care that I can provide to my patients,” said Katie Peterson, Registered Nurse at Mercy Hospital.
John Makowski, RN, BSN Core Charge, Mercy Hospital, said, “I only care about keeping my patients alive. I care about noticing trends or noticing when my patient’s pupils aren’t the right size. I can’t notice those types of things when I am constantly running around because of understaff.”
Staffing shortage has created several negative consequences on a personal and professional level for nurses.
“Working with inadequate staffing has led me to dissatisfaction and burnout in a job that I once loved,” said Peterson.
Taylor Clark, RN, BSN at Mercy Hospital said, “With the pressure to provide quality care and the unsafe patient to nurse ratio — It is unfair for nurses to put their licenses in jeopardy by forcing them to care for more and more patients at a time.”
Several policies have been implemented to try and solve this problem, but the understaffing of nurses still prevails.
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