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Saturday, August 08, 2015

is there a nursing shortage going on?


The hospital I work in has been full for months.  It is so full that they have been offering big bonuses this summer to work extra shifts.  There is no sign this is ending anytime soon.

Nowadays hospitals hire bare minimum staff and count on nurses to work extra shifts.  So if they run out of nurses they are screwed.  They are running out of nurses. Even with bonuses, nurses can only work so many shifts. Hospitals have the mentality that it will eventually slow down and they don't want to pay for staff they don't need.

What they don't seem to get is that patients are so much sicker now.  With the baby boomers getting older, there are more of them. What we are doing in hospitals has become  so much more complex with things like ECMO, LVADS, CRT, TPA, etc.  The things we do now require so much more nursing care.

ERs are becoming high tech nursing homes.  Our typical patient has become someone who has a couple of chronic illnesses like diabetes an kidney failure who is now septic. They are complicated and require a lot of care.

We run our asses off to get it done.

Yup it feels like there is a shortage brewing. There are a lot of new grads out there looking for jobs. They have those wonderful bachelor degrees hospitals are requiring these days. The thing is they don't have the experience that is needed to care for today's complex patients and there are only so many med surg openings. So then what?

Oh well, more money for us....

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your blog is truely amazing! I have been in the ER for 13 years, 3 as an ERT and 10 as an RN. Every time I read one of your posts, I COMPLETELY realate to everything you say, it's almost like I wrote the post myself! Today's post describes exactly what is going on in the inner city ER where I work. It started hard for us last summer. The bonuses were big and I could not turn down that kind of money. I worked every weekend last summer (totally sucked, but big paychecks do not). I though that it would slow down in the winter, but it never did. The hospital did not keep up on hiring new staff, and those of us who have been picking up are feeling burned out. They recently offered a $5000 sign on bonus for new hires, which has caused some hard feelings with the current hard-working RNs. The new RN's are in a 3 month orientation, so we remain short staffed on a daily basis...SUCKS!

Anonymous said...

In our unit they only hire part time, leaving everyone begging to fill the extra shifts and ill calls. There is a shortage of effective and qualified management. In my humble opinion, that is not the way to treat your employees.

Anonymous said...

In our ER we are short staffed and overwhelmed. Patients boarding in the ER > 24 hours, taking up beds while the waiting room is overflowing and the ambulances don't stop ie "in addition to your regularly assigned rooms, and your hall beds, you now have the patient by the water fountain and the one next to the fire extinguisher". It's not safe.

Nurses said...

I do agree more money for nurses if there is a shortage. But this is very dangerous! After many hours of working you get mentally tired and your decision making will not be as great. Get more nurses and increase the quality of care

Julie C. said...

I don't work in an ER, but am on a med-surg/tele/oncology floor. We turn over our staff every 6 months. Right now, I am one of 3 nurses with >3 yrs experience in a unit with 25 or so nurses. It's very scary to be the "senior" nurse amongst new grads on a floor with very sick patients.

Managing Diabetes said...

I am simply out of words after reading your blog.