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When Nursing Shortages Becomes a Cause for Patients’ Death

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7% difference in death rates have been linked to staffing alone. In a five-year investigation into the number of deaths in NHS hospitals, research suggests that:

  • Health care facilities with the highest staffing levels have the lowest death rates
  • The lack of nurses in a healthcare facility is considered one of the leading causes of hundreds of patients’ death after an emergency surgery.
  • The chance of surviving within 30 days of being admitted for an emergency operation is low in hospitals with fewer nurses, doctors and surgeons.

This only shows that nurses play a vital role in the health care industry, and the lack of them may account for a lot of patient’s death.

Based on the same research, the reason that many die after emergency surgery is because there is not enough nurses to care for them. An insufficient number of staff to spot and manage complications is also a key factor in determining whether a patient lives or dies in a particular facility.

Unfortunately, shortage of nursing is prevalent that NHS have to recruit from different parts of the world to fill gaps on rotas. These include nurses from India, Portugal, Philippines and Spain.

The problem is also foreseen to worsen with plans to scrap bursaries for future nurses and midwives. Taking out the bursaries of up to £20,000 could make the profession less enticing for a lot of people.

Still, there are ways to overcome nursing shortage.

1. Partner with providers of staffing solutions

Secure Healthcare Solutions is a specialist in health care staffing, supplying organisations with temporary and permanent solutions in the sector. They are hiring plenty of nurses that could become part of a clinic or hospital’s team, provided that you register with them. The agency also runs a referral program that are sure to encourage nurses to bring their peers into the organisation, and help eradicate shortage.

2. Create the right atmosphere

Secure Healthcare Solutions would take care of recruitment, but it is your responsibility to retain nurses within your employment. The best way to do this is to create an atmosphere that appreciates anything and everything a nurse does.

  • Keep work schedules flexible

Being overworked and stressed do not make happy nurses. Although nursing jobs are hardly easy and stress-free, it doesn’t have to be the cause of quick turnovers. You can offer relief by allowing nurses to juggle between work, home life and educational opportunities. Flexible scheduling would help create a working atmosphere that is productive and positive.

  • Offer opportunities for career development

There is a call for 80% of nurses to have a bachelor’s degree come 2020. If anyone in your nursing staff doesn’t have a degree, help them achieve the highest level education possible. Doing so will make nursing staff feel more satisfied with their job. When this happens, expect them to stay within the organisation and to work with excellence, and not out of gratitude for the opportunity given.

  • Listen to their needs

No one knows better how to improve workflow than those in the field. In the case of healthcare facilities, input and insights from nurses should be considered vital information, as they are the ones directly interacting with patients. So make sure they are given ample face time. It is also important to implement their suggestions to show that their opinions and input did not go to waste.

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