Nursing Shortage Essay

1046 words - 4 pages

Almost every person has had an experience at a hospital at one point of their lives; most of us were born in one after all. However, sometimes of us go to hospitals for different reasons and issue with our health status. At times, we all face life threatening illness and must rely on someone in the health field to provide their care for us. Most people and specially the elderly think doctors are the primary caregiver; however, I think that statement is wrong. The primary caregiver in the health field is the nurses walking into the patient‘s room almost every hour checking their vitals, assessing the patient‘s condition, providing treatment, and dispensing medication for these individual while in the hospital.
The nursing shortage currently in the United States is a real and suppressing issue in the healthcare industry. It is a result from a shortage of skilled nurses who can tend to individual patients their family and the overall population, thus creating an issue of supply and demand. Subsequently, many of today‘s nurses are undereducated‖ and not able to meet practice standards, affecting patient care. One of the main factors contributing to the nursing shortage is the aging register nurses workforce, lack of educational capacity and faculties, and the negative perception of the nursing profession, are some of the main issues in the nursing shortage. Several solution possibilities point back to enhancing and fostering more education.
A 61-year-old mother of five was having trouble breathing one Sunday afternoon, so her daughter rushed her to the emergency room. Doctors there thought she had pneumonia and admitted her. But for the next seven hours, the daughter sat by her mother's bedside watching her condition deteriorate, and seeing her struggle for each breath. She said she repeatedly tried to get help from the nurses. "I begged for help," she said. "We had plenty of time to get help, and we got none." The mother did not have pneumonia. She was actually having a heart attack that was causing liquid to fill her lungs. But because her primary nurse was overburdened allegedly caring for 20 patients, more than the hospital's own guidelines recommend the nurse didn't have time to observe the women until she had to be resuscitated. As a result of her heart attack, she suffered brain damage and was paralyzed. Her family sued the hospital and won $2.7 million (Marquez, 2006).
Nearly all in the healthcare field agree more nurses are needed, and that those new nurses will require advanced training. How to get there, however, remains anyone’s guess. Today there is a national nursing shortage as the healthcare industry rapidly changes. Aging baby boomers mean demands on the healthcare system will only increase in the coming years. A factor, too is, that a high median age for nurses in the exam room and in the hospital has created a narrowed pipeline for nursing students stuck on waiting lists, trying to get into the field. At the same time, graduates...

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