Nursing Shortages and Effect on Patient Care Outcomes

Nurses are the essential workforce in healthcare, and a shortage of nursing staff can lead to adverse outcomes. The estimated deficit of nurses is about to reach 13 million in the next fifteen years globally (Marć et al., 2018). The lack of enough healthcare workers results in increased workload, burnout among nurses, decreased work efficiency, and worsening patient care outcomes (Marć et al., 2018). Shortage of nursing staff translated to home-based patient care (Weaver et al., 2018). The demand for in-home patient care is rising, but the turnover rate among healthcare employees is still high (Weaver et al., 2018). There are ways to solve this issue in pediatric care. Specifically, such two interventions as introducing in-service training and regular breaks for nurses can improve occupational performance. The four resources needed to implement this strategic plan include online training, relaxation rooms for nurses, free access to educational databases, and a new scheduling program.

Introducing changes to overcome the nursing staff shortage will require specific resources and additional financial investments. First, in-service training programs for nurses at in-home patient care demand online training to allow nurses access these classes at convenient times and places. Teaching and training can be performed by experienced nurses that work in the pediatric unit, and they will receive additional payment for educating younger colleagues. Second, the hospital administration should provide free access to educational databases to ensure continuous learning and improvement. Third, establishing one relaxation room for healthcare workers in the department will allow nurses to work at in-home care and hospitals to rest between shifts. Fourth, the hospital should organize a team that will focus on fair scheduling for nurses to avoid burnout from work. All these steps will require additional funding; however, these resources may be beneficial for solving the nursing staff shortage issue.

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Overall, the lack of nurses in pediatric home care is a significant problem that may affect patient health. Introducing in-service training and regular breaks for nursing staff can reduce employee turnover rates. The four resources for implementing these strategies include online training, relaxation rooms, free access to databases, and creating a scheduling group. These resources may be costly, but implementing these changes will positively influence patient care outcomes.

References

Marć, M., Bartosiewicz, A., Burzyńska, J., Chmiel, Z., & Januszewicz, P. (2018). A nursing shortage–A prospect of global and local policies. International Nursing Review, 66(1), 9-16. Web.

Weaver, M. S., Wichman, B., Bace, S., Schroeder, D., Vail, C., Wichman, C., & Macfadyen, A. (2018). Measuring the impact of the home health nursing shortage on family caregivers of children receiving palliative care. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 20(3), 260–265. Web.

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