On Nursing Burn Out, the Nursing Staffing Shortage and Safe Patient Care

I’ve been on this soap box for years. Hospitals are hooked on investing in technology that costs millions and cutting on investing in nurses.

This terrific info-graphic from Soliant Health captures the message.

Reducing Nurse Burnout: A Win-Win Situation

Thank you Soliant Health for caring and creating this big picture on ‘working short’.
Hey health care consumers. YOUR health care is in YOUR HANDS. Tell your Hospital CEO to HIRE more nurses for safer patient care and excellent patient outcomes. Hospitals are ALWAYS asking for customer/patient feed back. This is your LIFE and the life of your loved ones you are advocating for.

Here’s to a more enlightened health care system that truly ‘cares’ about you, AND the nurses who are in the front lines.

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  1. Hi,yes safe staffing ratios are really needed but it seems most places really don’t value nurses anymore.They don’t value the nurses for their individual and unique experiences,for what they bring to the table. I don’t even think there is a nursing shortage.I can’t remember the source but I read that there are many more licensed nurses available that would fill the available slots but so many nurses have burned out and have quit the field leaving a constant turnover where hospitals think if someone quits or is fired they’ll get another nurse just like him/her. Unfortunately I am one of those burned out nurses after I worked in appalling bad units where I could not take care of my patients properly. The last place I worked,a tech did not tell me about one of my pts had a critically low bs. When I just so happened to check the pt he was in shock from the hypoglycemia and of course his IV blew. After what seemed like forever a nurse got another IV into him and I gave him the D50 and brought him around. We just barely got him back and I got ,rightly so,upset after all was said and done. I take it personally when a pt crashes and/or dies,very personally They seemed confused by me being upset saying this happens all the time. What happens all the time;hypoglycemia or death from it.. I mean have standards really fallen that low? That was really the icing on the cake,I left and haven’t looked back.
    I sure hope the hospitals start giving nurses a break. Maybe give less money to the CEO,CNO or wait to redecorate the entire lobby and front of the hospital complete with fountains,etc. I mean it;s just so ridiculous.

    1. Marsha,

      THRILLED that you spoke up! So many nurses can relate to your story. People need to hear the truth. You are such a savvy nurse, sigh, what a loss. Thanks for all of your caring and still caring now. xo

  2. Important issue, thanks for this post. What strikes me again and again is just how low-tech hospitals really are. Our computer systems remain archaic: for context, one can play an interactive video game with people from all over the world with detailed graphics and interaction in real time, extremely data intensive, for a few dollars month per user. In a hospital, it is common for a system to struggle harder (and much slower) with simple text and very little data demand in comparison, for far more money. My oil change place has much better data available than does any Harvard teaching hospital, and it is not due to privacy protection. Hospitals seem to buy EMR systems mostly to get credit for doing so; improvements to clinical functioning are secondary, as the industry and regulators have assumed that new technology, any new technology, will magically save costs and improve efficiency. Not true: an average video game company could easily simulate the old charts in 3-D in real time and let you interact with them in real time, more cheaply than the clunky and dangerously awkward systems most hospitals use. One more example: we use Nurses for inventory control. Other industries have long ago automated supply ordering, which would free up nurses to do actual professional work. We see lots of technology spending, but it has been very poorly done, wasteful and ineffective, increasing provider frustration and turnover, and increasing pressure to shortchange Nursing. Perhaps not coincidentally, we see Nurse Managers given little training or education, little or no control over their budgets, and supervisory responsibility for far more employees than that of comparable managers in other industries. Until we manage health care more effectively, and stop relying primarily on the heroic fudging of individuals in line staff, American health care will remain far less effective and far more wasteful than it need be.

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