Nurse Understaffing Issues Essay
Nurse understaffing has many negative effects on the quality of services provided and leads to many financial problems in healthcare facilities. Nurse understaffing leads to medic errors and higher mortality rates, nurses overload, fatigue, dissatisfaction, and as a result, nursing professionals turnover (Patterson, 2011). All these problems are associated with losses for the hospital. It is possible to consider a number of effective strategies that will not require large budgets.
For example, medical errors lead to additional financial costs as hospital facilities have to address legal issues, provide additional services and/or compensations. The value of the unpaid overtime work is not very high and, hence, nurses simply get tired and stressed. Turnover of nurses is also associated with financial losses for healthcare units, as hospitals need to search for, hire and train new nurses, which is associated with additional costs (Patterson, 2011).
Many ways and methods to address the problem exist. For example, some areas have specific regulations that set for nursing professionals (Bae, Brewer & Kovner, 2011). However, it is clear that this strategy is not effective as it leads to even more problems as nurses do not want to work extra hours and the value of their unpaid overtime work is very low. . (2011) stress that, in areas, where such mandatory regulations do not exist, nurses are more eager to work overtime and the value of their overtime work is higher. Hence, mandatory overtime work cannot be used.
The that will be very effective. This will not need a large budget as the nurses will be employed and will work in periods when they are most needed. There is no need to pay salaries for , as there are specific hours when nursing services are most needed and the existing staff cannot provide the necessary amount of services.
It is also important to use effective software systems that will identify the hours when additional nurses are needed. Patterson (2011) stresses that an effective computerized system can identify the periods when additional staff is required. Part-time nurses should come at such periods. Development and implementation of the computerized system will need some additional costs. However, the budget will not be large and will lead to significant improvements.
Finally, it is suggested that nurses should get bonuses for their overtime work. Again, this is not associated with large costs and will require a small budget. It is possible to pay for each extra hour a sum that is bigger than nurses average payment. It is also possible to pay the same money for extra hours and give additional bonuses for nurses who are the most active.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that nurse understaffing can be addressed effectively. Part-time nurses can be hired. It is also important to develop and implement an effective computerized system that will identify the hours when additional staff is needed and when nurses are overloaded. Apart from that, some bonuses should be paid to the most effective nurses. These strategies do not need large budgets and, hence, many healthcare facilities located in urban and rural areas can use them. Of course, healthcare officials should also consider regulations on mandatory overtime work. Healthcare facilities can address officials to remove the mandatory overtime work.