According to this article, The DOCTORS have come up with solutions to the bedside NURSING "shortage":
Talk to the employers
Increase the use of LPNs for "menial labor"
<<Physicians Recommend Actions to Forestall Shortages
DATELINE: WASHINGTON, DC:
Targeted steps must be taken now to improve nurse recruitment and retention as the nursing shortage worsens, according to recommendations released by the American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM).
"Without an adequate supply of nurses, patient care suffers," said Sara Walker, MD, MACP, president of ACP-ASIM. "The health care community, legislators, and local policy leaders must move quickly to eliminate barriers to rewarding work place experience for nurses
, to increase nursing educational opportunities, and to encourage young people to choose nursing as a career."
In addition to expanding recruitment efforts to school age children, ACP-ASIM has called upon state and federal legislators to provide tuition reimbursement programs for nursing students and improved loan-repayment programs.
"The population of Americans aged 65 years and older will double between 2000 and 2030," said Dr. Walker. " To meet this increasing demand for nursing services, we must seek to attract men and minorities who are under-represented in the current nursing population."
A newly released paper "Addressing the Nation's Nursing Shortage: Recommendations of the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine" also recommends actions to improve the practicing environment for nurses and increase retention. Reduction of administrative tasks, increased use of Licensed Professional Nurses (LPNs) for less skilled tasks, and improving communications with hospital management head the list.
"Nurse burnout is clearly a factor that we must address," stated Dr Walker. "Nurses play a vital role in the health care team and their expertise should not be squandered on paperwork and menial labor."
The College recommends creation of effective staffing plans that ensure quality and safe patient care by considering nurse experience and qualifications, rather than simple staff-to-patient ratios. ACP-ASIM also recommends that employers provide adequate compensation to attract and retain nursing staff
. To meet this goal, insurers, particularly the Medicare program, must adequately increase funding to account for increased salaries for skilled nursing professionals.
Recent estimates of unfilled nursing positions revealed 126,000 open nursing positions in hospitals. Physician practices report they are having greater difficulty hiring nurses to supervise clinical staff and perform higher-level duties, waiting longer to hire nursing staff, and offering higher salaries to attract qualified candidates. Since 1980, the number of Registered Nurses under age 35 has decreased by over fifty percent and enrollment in
Bachelor of Science and Nursing programs
has been steadily declining for the past six years.
The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine is the nation's largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group. Membership encompasses more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students.
Jul 3, '02
Had one of our older attending surgeons sitting at the desk the other day writing notes on his pt when he overheard an exchange between an RN & a surgical resident about another pt.
The RN was giving her observations to the resident & making a suggestion for the pts care. The resident cut her short & flatly told her no. The RN persisted & gave her rationale. The resident said with disgust "I want it this way" & walked away as the RN was talking to her. The RN followed her & asked for a rationale for not making the change she felt the pt needed. The resident said "because Im
the MD & I
told you this is how its going to be".
The attending surgeon, who was not this particular pts doctor, went to the resident, pulled her aside & angrily told her never to speak to an RN in that way again - "she is an educated, skilled professional & your partner - the pts life depends on her - not you. And your practice depends on her too. When she tells you something about the pt - pay attention to it! What you just did is one of the reasons why there may be no nurses left to care for the pts you operate on when youre finished here. If you want to be a doctor, learn the value of the RNs caring for your pts!"
He always had our respect even before this and he would have gotten a standing ovation for this but then he would have known we were eavesdropping.
Last edit by -jt on Jul 3, '02