Why does Nursing put up with short staffing? - page 7

I am wanting to get a little feedback as to why Nursing (in general) allows short staffing to be an issue? I am on our research committee at work and would like to get an idea of where to take my... Read More

  1. by   smarter
  2. by   ncrachuj
    I am also in a situation that the management requires 1 nurse to do the work of 2 if one is sick or has a family emergency. Management has stated that we will NOT have any more staff nurses to fill in. If this happens to me again, I want to refuse to do the 2nd nurses job, but what kind of trouble will I be in.
    I think this may be the answer, do we have the guts to do it?
  3. by   lmp123
    Keep it simple: Share the wealth ~

  4. by   interleukin
    "but what kind of trouble will I be in."

    I'll tell you what we know for sure...when you accept that untenable assigment, and you screw up, you'll be hung out to dry. Be sure to submit a from stating that you are being forced to work unsafely. Otherwise, you'll be on your own in court.
  5. by   JessLPN2RNASN
    I love being a nurse and helping those who cannot help themselves, but nursing is also about helping those TO help themselves. Anyone considered that part of the shortage stems from people who refuse to take a proactive role in their own well-being, or people who insist on abusing the healthcare system? A few examples that come to mind: showing up to the ER at 2 am with a runny nose and fever (easily treated at your regular dr's office at 8 am), pts who refuse to get out of bed while in the hospital (or refuse other treatments which leads to a prolonged stay), or families who refuse to let their suffering family memebers peacefully pass (I know this one can be very touchy and is probably the most sensitive topic, but I am reffering to extreme situations, not boarderline ones). And what about the pharmaceutical companies? Is the FDA not the FOOD and drug administration? Then why is it that so many additives and chemicals in food are proven (but rarely published) to cause many problems requiring hospitalization are allowed into our food? And why is it I am doing so much patient teaching on medicatons administered in the hospital that people have never taken before and have no direct link to their current disease process? Is Protonix given out like candy anywhere else? I've heard rumor that there is suspicion that Protonix is linked to C-diff infections now. Some things are just being compounded for the sake of policy. The human body is perfect, and some cares, meds, and "routine proceedures" mess that up beyond repair. Why can't less be more?
    Thanks for listening

    -RN who may read too much.
  6. by   cheryl6391
    :smilecoffeecup: overtime!
  7. by   piper_for_hire
    Why does nursing put up with staff shortages? I don't get the question. Nursing has nothing to do with staff shortages. It is simply poor hiring practice. Like in *any* profession, better pay and to a lesser extent better benefits will attract more employees. There is nothing more to it than that. It is the hospital that is in charge of hiring all employees, not nursing. If hospitals cite budget constraints as a reason for not hiring staff all that really means is that they are satisfied with the current situation. If hiring more nurses meant a fatter bottom line, they would.

  8. by   CNSgradstudent
    I am currently a nurse in a recovery room at a surgery center. We have experienced a large turnover due to the PRN pool they have established. The PRN nurses make several more dollars an hour, do not have the added assignments of keeping the center running and can work if and when they want. When they are working PRN in other centers around town, we resort to using the Agency nurses, which is even more money and the same issues of not having the added wrokload of daily assignments. How are we as nurses who are employeed by hospitals and corporations going to encourage them to have retention strategies and how do we make management understand our perils. They think if we have a "warm body" everything should be OK with the work load. I am in graduate school and I am doing my research on the use of agency(prn) staff and the retention of RNS. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
  9. by   Rnandsoccermom
    Because people are more afraid of losing their job than they are of losing their license. If there was a national walkout day it would turn the the industry upsidedown. For whatever reasons, it has never happened. We can only blame ouselves.
  10. by   CNSgradstudent
    I don't think we will ever have a national organized nursing alliance and you are right it is our own fault. But we would never jeopardize the health of the patients and hospitals, managemnt and physicians know that. We are the largest lobbying group of any medical profession if we could all get organized and make a stand. I think that since we are a predominately female career choice, we have so many other responsibilites in our lives that the majority looks as nursing as their job and not their career. I have been a nurse for 21 years and I am not sure it will ever change. This is a cyclic profession, 21 years ago I came out of a BSN program and went to work for a hospital who was entering Primary care by RNS ( similar to the Magnet status of today). It was a great hospital with virtually no errors, well staffed etc... As the money was taken by the RN staff they started resorting back to the team approach of nursing. This was followed by the 12 hour shift and lack of continuity of care and now we are where we are today- BIG BURNOUT, experienced nursing staffs ready to retire, younger nurses becoming disillusioned at a much faster rate than when we were first nurses. Not sure where I was going with this-just rhetoric Sorry, I think we just have to become more proactive and vocal and continually strive to become more educated and autonomous!!
  11. by   Sheri257
    Quote from interleukin
    If there was one thing, and only one thing, I could get nurses to do, collectively and without reserve, it would be to make them stay home when they're sick.

    Nothing bothers me more than hearing these stories of going in sick because of this or that or some other guilt-ridden justification.

    For god sakes, stay home when you're sick! If there is no staff to take your place, it's not your fault, nor is it your problem.


    and maybe, just maybe, they'll get the message and staff properly.

    But please stop this throw-myself-on-a-sharp-stick behavior!
    If you're referring to my post, I agree ... it was wrong to work sick. I did it because it was my first hospital job, I was new, and they were writing up people for calling out sick. But, in hindsight, it was totally stupid on my part.

    However, I am not trying to encourage the nurse as martyr syndrome. I won't ever work sick again.

  12. by   bjlyst
    i'm not sure where you get your information. but, here's a reality for you. if you go to work and clock on, then turn around and leave, it is considered abandioning your patients. which is against the law. which means that you loose your job and probably your license, which in turn makes staffing even shorter.

    i don't know about anyone else, but when my bosses know they are short for my shift, they let me clock in, then they tell me that i'll be working the full 126 patients alone.
  13. by   wooh
    You're not abandoning until you've TAKEN REPORT. Until then, you haven't accepted responsibility. I'll take report on the number I'm supposed to have, then I refuse to take report on any more.