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Nursing shortages/careers

Specializes in ER, PACU, OR.

Last Sunday or Monday (about 12/24/05') I had the TV on after a football game. It was something like dateline? They did a quick thing about nursing and the shortages and expected outcome.

They claimed that currently the shortage of nurses is about 100,000. Based on the projections by some goverment research, it's expected to hit 700,000 by 2020.

They claimed that nursing schools are all full, and that most have a 1 to 3 year waiting list to get in. They interviewed a guy, who left the aerospace industry (an engineer) after 10 years to become a nurse. He claimed there is no work for him in his prior field.

They then went on to say, most people view nursing as bed bathes and bedpans. Which we all know is not even remotely accurate. they then said, it's much more than that. Then the story was over without elaboration. Again the media leaves out so much info.

They failed to mention, that many of the new grads coming into nursing get back out within 5 years.

While the shortage continues, hospitals send people home when slow, and expect them to come running back when they are busy. At least from what I have seen, it seems everybody is prn in reality. Yet, hospitals talk about recruitment and retention. It seems many have went from the "It's about the patient" to "It's a bussiness".

I think that those people who get into nursing really, don't realize what a money dumping pit a hospital can be? When it's time to make up for that, staffing or hours get cut.

If a floor gets closed down for weeks, due to low census. Those nurses don't get the hours they need. Then when they need them, there not there to come back. This all happens while a hospital talks about retention. Unfortunately, I personally have not met or heard of any independently wealthy nurses, whom do this for fun.

Budget cuts are expected every year (while the cost of inflation and products go up).

Productivity is always expected to be high. However, some non nursing financial whiz has devised a formula that decides how this works. While other hospitals do not even have things like productivity.

A lot needs to be fixed. It would be nice to ahave the media address "the rest of the story"

Have a nice day!!!

Hospitals are a business. Working for one that is poorly run can be tedious. The RN shortage means good jobs are out there, you just have to find them.

It frustrates me also. I wish the media would educate the public about what nurses are really up against and the effect of the entire healthcare industry on patient care.

I think they would be shocked because I don't think they really, truly understand the situation administrations/insurance companies have put healthcare workers and patients in.

I would not feel safe in most hospitals today.

Thank you for the original post. It is my opinion that the "nursing shortage" is the result of "Monopoly Capatalism". This is a communist theory which states that under the last stage of captalism (before socialism) employers will destroy the work force in order to further short term profits (which will be devestating to the long term availability of the work force). Also, communist theory asserts that the more demanding,skilled, and unpleasant a job is the more likely it is that captalists will attempt to take an oppressive and unjust attitude towards those employed in the same. Why? Because the same is necessary to hold wages down as if the true just wage (and benefits) were provided the same would rise significantly. Thus, you see efforts, at least in the USA, of employeers attempting to import cheap third world nurses (and in other professions) in order to keep wages and benefits low. This improves the short term profits of health care providers but in the long term, of course, as in communist theory, it destroys the skilled nursing work force which results in a catastrophic shortage.

I am not a communist (a moderate libertarian) but it is my opinion that our nation has progressed to a form of "monopolistic captalism" with it's many destructive connotations which might prove dilaterious to true captalism which is defined as having free enterprise and competition, something which "monopoly capitalism" seeks to destroy.

A true capitalist should seek to ameliorate the affects of "monopoly capitalism" such that nursing can thrive as a profession and such that true capitalism and it's associates liberties,freedoms, and high living standards can survive.

geekgolightly, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, neuro, orthotrauma.

demonsthenes, don't you see libertarianism's end as monopolistic capitalism?

geekgolightly, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, neuro, orthotrauma.

p.s. i totally agree with your assertions. pomo within philosophy has signified our economic reality for a while now.


Specializes in ER, PACU, OR.

True for all of the above.

However, despite a hospital being a bussiness it needs to consider the staff and other issues.

At the same time, I know they are being crunched by the insurance companies and medicare. Which at times seems to be nothing but a big game to avoid payouts.

Initially you had to decide if a patient was being admitted to observation or as an inpatient.

Then once everybody became in the habit of getting this down right, they change it again. Saying, you must say "admit to observation" or "admit as inpatient". This gave people time to screw up, and a reason for insurance companies not to make payment.

Then they changed it to "assign to obersation" or "assign to inpatient". Once again, it took physicians months to remember this and get it right. If it's not writen exactly like this, then no pay from the insurance co. or medicare.

It's their way of trying to avoid payment. The end result of patient care, is money and profits. It's really a bummer.

Something needs to be fixed somehow? Otherwise I think it will get to the point where only the rich, and the congessmen/senators with their "Golden Plan(s)" will be able to get sick and not go bankrupt. If it gets like that? Hospital settings will be 10 times in worse shape.

P.S.- the latest way to avoid payment and punish the health care facilities. Check this out................

Pt's with pre-op ABX ordered, inp, outpt, or ER. They must receive their ABX exactly as ordered. (i.e. in most cases 1 hour pre-op).

2 things must apply:

A) - If not given exactly 1 hr pre-op. they will not pay for it, or any infection tx that may occur after surgery.

The problems with this are: Delay in surgery, d/t problems with the prior case.

ER never really knows when the patient will be picked up for surgery.

let's face it, there is no guarentee that an ABX 1 hr pre-op guarentees no infection. So if it's given 70 minutes pre-op, or 50 minutes pre-op your screwed.

B) - It has to be documented on a MAR.

Outpatient stuff gets documented on their surgery center sheet, not a MAR, never has been.

ER - has never used MARS, and like a surgery center would have to start using one.

More good ways to avoid payout, on something that they know is near impossible to do most of the time. Including more paperwork/forms to rifle through.

truly amazing.

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