Published Jul 21, 2001
I am doing a paper in English on the Nursing shortage....I am going to be interviewing here, but would like input from others as well, so please answer the questions I put here and post...I will be taking answers until Monday...Thanks!!Do you feel there is a nursing shortage?
Why do you think there is a nursing shortage?
D.Treatment by family/doctors
E.Ages of Nurses
What can be done by the medical profession to help alleviate the shortage and recruit more nurses?
B.No mandatory overtime
D.Child care subsidies
What can the community and State do to help alleviate the nursing shortage?
A.More money into scholarships for nursing?
C.No Mandatory overtime
I am starting an ADN program in August, but I have been working in a hospital for almost four years. The nursing staff that I work with have a problem with working overtime. The hospital we work for has mandatory 12hr shifts and this these shifts are mentally and physically demanding. Well to get back on track to your questions. Your first question I would have to say all of the above. Your second question I would say better pay, scholarship monies, and more respect from the doctors and families. I have found somedays at work were a family member will follow a nurse around and demand a request on the spot. I think at times the family member thinks their loved one is the only patient that is on the unit and we are to drop what we are doing and cater to their needs. This is not very realistic when we tend to work short staff alot of times. To your three question the I would have to say all of the above. Well I wanted to contribute my two cents.
Thanks alot.....if anyone is interested in more inout...I posted this under general and got some good responses there...check it out
Genista, BSN, RN
Here's my input. I'm an RN of 2.5 years on med/tele. I think the shortage is due to #1)inadequate staffing. First of all, the biggest problem seems to be that patient acuity (the needs required or severity of patient illness) is never taken into account when # nurses are scheduled to care for patients. If a patient is acutely ill, and needs a nurse every 15 minutes to monitor and treat them, that is RARELY taken into account. Many hospitals only provide a certain number of nurses for a certain number of patients. It's all fine if the patients are not acutely ill, or need care from the RN no more than once/hour. However, they NEVER take this into account! They give the RN a set # of patients. What if patient #1 has chest pain and his blood pressure is dropping? What if patient #2 can't get up out of bed to use the bathroom without 3 people to help?What is patient # 3 is confused & yelling out for help, and trying to climb out of bed every 5 minutes? There is only one RN for X number of patients. But they staff by # patients per nurse, not by how sick and how much help the patients need.
I can't tell you how many times I have worked without a single break from 7am to 4 pm to even urinate or drink a sip of water! Why????!!!Because staffing is inadequate. We fill out forms about "acuity" (the amount of nursing care a patient needs) but it doesn't influence staffing one iota.I am sick of filling out these bogus acuity forms!!!! I am paid a fair wage (not ALL NURSES ARE), but when you consider that I am responsible for people's lives, and that I don't even get a 15 minute break in my 9 hour day, then you begin to wonder... why did I get into this profession anyway!?
Yesterday I had a cup Of coffee at 6 am, before work. I worked 7 am- 4:30 pm, without a single break. I didn't get to use the bathroom, eat a bite of food or drink a sip of water. I told my supervisor I needed help, and she was pitching in to help me. I am 30 years old. I love what I do. I enjoy the challenge. I think it's important & satisfying. But often I feel angry & unappreciated. I constantly consider, "Hmmm, what else can I do? What other careers interest me?" All I want is a 30 min. break to eat lunch and maybe time to pee if I need to. Is that too much to ask!!!??Why can't I get that? Why can't I get enough help? That is why there is a nursing shortage! My work calls me 4x/ week to see if I can "come in" to work all other shifts. They even call me up in the middle of the night (no matter if I work the next day) and ask if I can work extra. I am tired & grumpy. I already gave 200% yesterday & today!!!! That's why we have a shortage! Thanks for letting me vent & thank you for caring enough to write a paper on this important subject.
No bathroom break and no food break is not acceptable. I think we cannot even do this to an animal without being sent to jail!
Please complain like hell to the top. They may already know the situation. But bother them a lot. They need to do something about this. Pay increase alone is not enough if basic functions are not allowed to be taken care of!
Best wishes, Christina
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