In 2030, there is an estimated need for nurses opening up 795,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. alone. Globally, an expected downfall of 18 million nurses had come to international health professionals’ attention. And this is now felt like an impending dilemma for the world’s health care system.
Unfortunately, this 18 million is not just composed of the retiring age. Numerous reasons like expanding nursing roles in leadership, shortage of nursing educators, and rapidly increasing the need for healthcare, most notably by the aged, are contributors. But what’s alarming is the rising pressures that push nurses to retire.
Of all these reasons that led to an estimated shortage, it seems that the most manageable of all in which resolutions could be done would be to analyse why the nurses opt to retire than to retain their jobs despite competitive compensation. Here are some of the pressures that nurses are faced with:
Due to the current situation of lack in nursing services brought by the retiring Baby Boomers, global increasing demand and demand for nursing educators, shift from being hospital practitioners to different nursing roles happen. This leaves the bedside care compromised from an ideal ratio of 2 nurses to 1 patient in the intensive care unit. And one nurse is to 4 patients in the ward; there are reported situations where these doubles because they are understaffed, leaving the nurses in a struggle.
Everybody is entitled to medical service, most notably when you pay a lot of money in availing it. Benevolence should never come in short, but with understaffed hospitals and aged care facilities, it tends to get paved to that direction.
If all eight patients need to drink medicine at noontime, more or less, there are three who would be drinking between 12:08-12:15. Still, it’s not noon on the dot as per order. And this is not the most straightforward task on the sheet. There’s one that needs changing of dressing, cleansing of a tracheal tube, draining of output, the list can go on and on.
As you see both perspectives, the demand and supply for nursing care services are imbalanced. And this leads the staff into becoming overworked yet underpaid. While the nurses do their best in doing everything as ordered by their superiors, they also deal with angry patients or relatives when little things happen. An example may be a nurse may not be changing the hospital mattress for a patient often.
Negative feedback never favours anybody. So, if patients and their families would be contributing to it, who would make out of a good sense with this kind of a job? Nobody. So, they quit.
Although this happens in every working environment, there is, it’s by far one of the most expressed concern being one of the pressures a nurse experiences.
As expected, when nurses get burnt out from doing bedside care, they find a way to exit the unbearable situation. In need of income, they would rather stay receiving the money. How can they do that? By aspiring higher positions that don’t have to deal with the nasty tasks of putting anal suppository or cleaning up the vomit of somebody who had just had chemotherapy. And that includes being clinical managers, nursing educators or medical transcriptionists.
This actually may still be socially acceptable if you feel like you need a change in the field. Like you maybe wanting a promotion of sorts or you feel motivated in moving up the hierarchy ladder. That should be ok provided your credentials are complete in attaining it. But the case is, some take advantage of the high demand that even if they lack training, practice and exposure, they still insist on making their way into achieving a more top position.
The thing is, it happens at the expense of those who had been serving honestly for a long time. It’s made possible because of the fast shifts in positions, high demand for nurses and understaffing.
In short, there are so many underqualified that has the same compensation with long-term serving nurses, or they demand so much for an increase that it sucks the hospital of its resources to keep several nurse staff.
It’s about lack of resources collectively. This chain reaction is genuinely affecting the medical industry, specifically in the nursing sector.
First-hand bedside care where orders are carried out suffers from this. The hospital may prioritise paying their staff than fund research projects could be hindered of the ability to grow as a learning institution. This stops it from gaining opportunities to expand, and in terms of providing exceptional care, that chance goes away.