How Nurse Staffing Affects Patient Safety and Satisfaction

Right now, our country is going through a serious problem when it comes to the nursing shortage. Though it is not necessarily new, with the growing need for healthcare workers, it is something that we really need to address. Now, there are a lot of opportunities as a nurse that you could get to help you continually find jobs like working with a nursing agency near Baton Rouge. They would help you find a specific job in a specific field and in different parts of the country.

Causes for Nursing Shortage

  • Limited supply of new nurses

When it comes to nursing schools, there is this bottleneck that happens, especially with graduating students because there is a limited budget and staff for nursing schools which also limits the number of nurses that are entering the workforce yearly. The amount of nurses that enter the workforce is not enough to cover all of the other nurses who would be retiring soon. 

  • Aging population

The population is aging as the baby boomers are now entering their golden years. With this information, there are about one out of 5 people who would turn into senior citizens between 2010 and 2030, so there are going to be more patients that would need healthcare in the next couple of years.

  • Aging workforce

Since the baby boomers are slowly entering their retirement age, there is a lot of nursing staff who are retiring since about one-third of the people who are working in the nursing workforce are about 50 years and older.

Does Inadequate Nurse Staffing Affect Patient Satisfaction?

The inadequate nurse staffing could really affect the satisfaction of a patient when it comes to the quality of healthcare that they are receiving. When patients experience the lack of nurses available whenever they go to any healthcare facility, it could taint their perception of anything related to any nursing care-related things. 

The majority of the time it is because of the shortage of nursing staff that the healthcare facility experiences. This could lead to a few of the patients slowly losing faith, trust, reliability, and confidence in any care that they may receive from any and every registered nurse that they would encounter in their life, especially when the nurses would rush out their explanations when it comes to the medication that is prescribed to them and any kind of coordinate care.

What Can Healthcare Organizations Do to Improve Nurse Staffing?

  1. Examining the nursing workload

You have to make sure that you know how the nurses spend their time. If you notice that your nurses spend almost all of their time going back and forth from places because they need to go to different patients, then you are going to have to really increase your staff.

  1. Delegating work to make sure team member contributions

Making sure that you delegate the work and leverage the contributions of every member of the team because this would help your nurses really be able to focus on the tasks that are given to them while also making sure they are not overworked. This would improve the patient care that your nurses are giving to your patients.

  1. Looking at the time spent documenting

Checking and evaluating the Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems and forming strategies that would make the job of the nurses so much easier and effective. Make sure that you improve the usability and streamline documentation in the system because it would have a huge impact on the patient satisfaction and patient outcomes of your healthcare facility.

  1. Including the direct care nurses 

As leaders and administrators, it is best that you could also ask for some input from the direct care nurses since they are the ones who understand the work that needs to be done. They know what is lacking, what they need to improve more on, the workload, and how many more nurses they are going to need to ensure patient satisfaction. So including them in any of the staffing decision-making is a smart move.

Why Is Patient Satisfaction Important to the Healthcare Industry?

The healthcare industry is slowly moving toward aiming to give more patient-centered care. This is why making sure that you have a good satisfaction rating is incredibly important because it could either help your reputation as a healthcare facility or could lead to your downfall. Make sure that you have sufficient nurses working for you by working with a nursing staffing agency to help you with your staffing needs.

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