The Effects of Short Staffing in Nursing

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This research will be conducted to determine the effects of short staffing in nursing, patient outcomes, and the nurse to patient ratio. There exists an associating between the patients outcomes and burnouts in nursing, and the staffing levels in health facilities. Staff capacity management is an important aspect of managing the labor force in organizations. When implemented in nursing and health sector it creates essential insights into the resources utilized by nurses and health practitioners such as the staff and equipment. The management choices on the quality levels and quantity outputs for nurse staffing are determining the nature of hospital budgets. The two factors also determine the baseline to be applied in nursing requirements and patient services within a hospital unit. Short staffing in nursing is associated with critical outcomes in patients with acute conditions (Hugonnet et al., 2007). Increased morbidity and mortality rates to low staffing levels in cases such as the mental illness, pediatric conditions, and elderly patients is affected by the little nurse to patient ratios. The research, therefore, seeks to outline the effects emanating from short staffing nursing and present a solution based on supervision, retention, and recruitment of practitioners based on the nature of the facility services offered.

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It is worth to understand that the staffing problem cannot just be solved when perceived as the common number agenda. There are several notions of the problem that need to be understood and analyzed to assist in establishing a sustainable strategy. A long-term organizational commitment is necessary for determining the establishment of a long-lasting solution. The process of empowering the nurses and detecting the burnouts aspect of the practitioners while undertaking their duties will be appreciated. Utilizing technology to ascertain the existence of possible short staffing indicators is possible through the comparison of the total number of patients visiting the hospitals and the number of nurses available depending on their skills and health conditions of clients. Besides, understanding the factors associated with the limited nurse staffing is vital in the way the creation of intervention will be perceived. However, hospital administration and stakeholders should have mechanisms that will help in unraveling the indicators of such scenarios (Maenhout & Vanhoucke, 2013). In this atudy, the problems associated with the low staffing levels in health facilities such as the patient outcomes in acute care units will be highlighted. Knowledge of the effects and the possible solution is required when creating a safe environment for patients and nurses.

The problem of short staffing in nursing is a sensitive matter that needs to be addressed. Setting up strategies that will ensure a long-term solution is what is required now. The effect of a lower nurse to patient ratio affects the delivery of quality services in the health sector. A keen analysis of the problem will ensure that the strategies build will assist in mitigating the shortcoming and ensure that the matter is given the necessary attention. The study conducted a succinct review of the problems associated with the short staffing, patient outcomes, and nurse to patient ratio and recommended nursing supervision, recruitment, and retention as the intervention measure for the problem of the study. The research suggested that a structured policy-based process of management of nursing activities that incorporates the hiring of new practitioners whenever short staffing is detected would increase the nurse to patient ratio.

Competent and standard operations regarding clinical and nursing supervision, recruitment and retention are to facilitate the enhancement of knowledge and skills in the health personnel. The paramount issues in the health domain involve aspects such as the considerations of the relationship of recent workforce development strategies, recruitment, and maintaining of health professionals, and implementation of the health plans. For example, the health reform initiatives outlined in the Australia's Health Strategy 20042007 were focused on relieving the pressure in the health system through the Workforce, Standards, and Safety Initiatives described in that strategy (DoH, 2005). The initiative was aimed at overseeing and supporting the recruitment and retention of the nurses, and using innovative education and training prototypes to equip the workforce with the relevant skills, new knowledge, and appropriate attitudes needed in a satisfactory working condition and balance the staffing ratio for dynamic practitioner performance.

It is worth noting that clinical and nursing supervision, recruitment, and retention is a component of education and training that contribute successfully to the augmentation of high-quality services to daily practices and activities. The three-fold approach is regarded as an important developmental tool focused on the delivery of quality nursing care. The problems experienced within the nursing related to burnouts cannot be ignored. In the twentieth century, clinical and nursing supervision, recruitment, and retention are being used as a tool for clinical governance because it contributes to quality improvement in the sector, clinical risk management, the responsibility of occurrences, and accountability of events (Walsh et al., 2003). The multidimensional considerations of the process guarantee a change of perceptions and improvement of the quality of life both for the patients and for nurses.

Implementation PlanThis century is characterized by organizations making informed decisions based on tangible evidence reflecting then future anticipations. Nurses are becoming disgruntled with the fact that health administrators have been reluctant in finding a long-lasting solution to the challenges facing the sector. Researchers have linked the patient outcomes to the nature of nurse staffing. National and international research have linked nurse-staffing inadequacy to the level of adequate performance among the health practitioners. The problems that have been associated with such problem include aspects revolving around mortality, morbidity, hospital-acquired pneumonia, sepsis, gastrointestinal infections, and other nurse-sensitive outcomes among patient. The century has been characterized by the identification of the crises in the nursing sector in health care facilities. Shortage of nurses has caused inadequate patient care services because of burnouts, stress, and fatigue from overloads and multitasking among health practitioners. There is the need for addressing the problems in the health sector because the patients outcomes have been associated with loss of live and more advanced complications resulting from the poor duty performance by nurses. Since the society depends on the health services for a healthy existence, the problem of short staffing in nursing called for the immediate consideration meant for the establishment of mitigation measures (Mueller et al., 2010).

The recommendations for health managers and stakeholders to implement were divided into two broad subsections. The nurses workloads were to be restructured to ensure that the concerns raised regarding overload and multitasking were eliminated. The other involved the process of improving the job satisfaction of the nurses and their ordinary life while working. Appropriate staffing was, therefore, necessary to help reduce burnouts in nursing and lower the levels of nurse-sensitive outcomes in patients. The quality of health care delivered in hospitals is a national concern owing to the oath of service the health practitioners are bound with while on duty. However, additional factors emanating from the external environment that the nurses cannot control affects their commitment and competence. Increased working pace from the high number of patient admissions is tragic whenever the ratio is compromised during normal conditions as well as the emergencies and pandemics. Such extreme working environment is not different from work abuse, and therefore, there was the need to set up bodies that will ensure they implementation of the recommendation took place as agreed in decision tables. The living conditions of nurse are also important because they are also subjected to rights as defined in state constitutions and labor policies.

The nursing services are provided under their broad categories of nurses that include licensed nurses, registered nurses, and nurse aides. The registered nurses are those who provide direct services to patients and assist in the management of the care activities in a facility because they have attained degree and diploma qualifications. The licensed nurses provide health care under the supervision of registered nurses. The aides assist in additional but simple duties to make procedures of healthcare much natural, and they are attached to hospitals or can be helping in nursing homes. All the three categories of nurses are complementary, and their proportion in a hospital determined the quality of services offered to patients. For example, a unit with more registered nurses but fewer aides will lead to burnouts amongst the assistants. Moreover, a facility with more aides but less registered and licensed nurses will be referring patients, and turnover will be the daily norm of the operation in the hospital. The number of each category in a health center determines the specialization and capacity of cases to be handled. Changing living conditions, improved technology, and health complications affect the staffing model to be applied in a unit at a precise location and level.

By the year 2002, the problem of short staffing among nurses was about at a rate of 6% as compared to the registered nurses percentage indicator. Predictions indicated the possibility of the shortage level increasing drastically to unmanageable scenarios such that at 2020 the numbers would be ranging from 0.4 million to 1 million practitioners. The predictions incorporated the particular level of training in health institutions. The implications of such occurrence would mean that the rate of in-hospital infection would also increase. The need for setting intervention will assist to eliminate the effects and improve the quality experience of patients because they are also entitled to rights when seeking medical attention. The shortages in the nursing professional can be traced between 1995 and 2000 when the number of graduates decreased by an almost constant rate of 26%. There is complexity that is associated with acquiring the exact figure regarding the staffing concept in nursing because of the state diversity and policies as well as the short-term hiring approach during emergencies. However, the statistics could be higher than expected (McQuide et al., 2013). The public sector has been involved in the studies; however, the private facilities also have an implication of the results if incorporated.

The witnessed shortages in nurse staffing are being caused by factors that were to be included in the implementation process to ensure a sustainable solution is reached to create an efficient nurse to patient ratio. The reasons are diverse but can be associated with the demographic characteristics that are subjected to constant changes. The increase in the number of the aging population has increased the demand for nurses in health facilities specialized in old-age care. The population growth rate and life expectancy will determine the number of patients admitted in future due to age factor complications. Cha...

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