I work outpatient and this is still a problem. We do not have “nurse to patient ratios” because the structure of working outpatient is completely different. But what is the same is being given an un-doable amount of work, and told that every item is supposed to be your top priority. Administrators will come and say “Why aren’t you (for example) screening every patient for depression, tobacco use, diabetic symptoms, street drug use, alcohol abuse, asthma control, up-to-date colonoscopy and mammography, and anxiety? You should be filling out all of these forms on every patient who walks in the door.” They do not want to hear that tobacco screening is less important than depression screening, so the list of items to complete just grows and grows.
When a nurse quits, she often isn’t replaced, leaving everyone else to desperately try to handle her workload. And, as mentioned in the article, Covid has done a number on us. Because all the nurses used to work “On the floor” (ie, taking care of patients who come to the clinic, answering phones for triage, taking pharmacy calls, etc), but now they pull half the staff to vaccinate or swab noses. It is overwhelming.