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The Nursing Shortage: A Crisis For The Health Of The Country

3240 words - 13 pages

The Nursing Shortage: A Crisis for the Health of the Country
“In 2000, the supply of full time equivalent RNs was estimated at 1.89 million, while the demand was at 2 million, causing a shortage of 110,000 or 6%. However, even more concerning is the fact that this shortage is expected to almost quadruple (20%) by 2020” (qtd. in 10). There are many causes of this nursing shortage including age, other non-clinical employment for degreed graduates, and tuition burden, but the main cause is lack of faculty to accommodate the amount of interested students in a timely manner. Not only is this shortage causing job dissatisfaction due to the long, grueling hours nurses are often forced to work, ...view middle of the document...

If these small changes are not recognized and/or treated, the patient’s condition could worsen, possibly resulting in death. In these situations, nurses are unable to attend to patients for a sufficient amount of time that would allow them to spot the minor changes in their conditions that could indicate a serious problem.
The bedside patient care is not the only factor that isarea that has resulted in a decrease in the quality of over all care throughout hospitals. The American Hospital Association (AHA), which represents Five five thousand hospitals and healthcare systems stated that one out of four facilities has reduced the number of staffed beds and ten percent have canceled surgeries and procedures because of this shortage (qtd. it 2). For the United States this means that the hospitals cannot accommodate patients that require care, leaving them to search for care in other places or not receive it at all.
In “Missed Nursing Care: A Qualitative Study,” Beatrice jJ. Kalish, PhD, RN, FAAN discusses the results of a study conducted to find out specifically what nursing care is regularly missed in acute care hospitals and the reasons nurses state these aspects of care are overlooked. Kalish found that ambulation - or walking a patient, delayed or missed feedings, patient education on his or her illness and necessary procedures for at home care, emotional support to the patient and family, patient hygiene and patient surveillance were among the many missed duties (qtd. in 307-309). These items can be considered negligence in a malpractice law suit. Nurses may often be charged with negligence if a patient does not feel that he or she is receiving the proper care.
One aspect of care that was determined as missing was attending to patients who needed walking or turning. Patients that are hospitalized for long periods of time need to be exercised and turned. If they are not regularly moved many risks are made presentpresentpresentpresentadverse effects are realized, including severe pressure ulcers (bed sores), decreased circulation to limbs, and atrophy, or wasting away, of muscles from little to no movement. Because of this, patients’ conditions worsen and expand instead of getting better.
An additional part of care found missing was inattiontion inattention to a patient’s feeding schedule. There are many issues with withinstances of patients not receiving meals in a timely manner if at all. Patients run risks of unnecessary side effects if feeding meals and medication are required to be given simultaneously and are not. There is also the risk of patient malnutrition. Our bodies aide to fight infection as well as complete our general functions using energy and nutrients provided by food and if that additional support to the wellness of a patient is removed or compromised, their health and outcome deteriorate.
Another element of missed care is patient education on his or her illness and necessary procedures for home care. As...

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