Found that patient care suffered specifically because of a delayed response by nurses to pages or calls, patients increasingly complaining about care, staff communication problems, and increasing physicians’ workloads. The results of the decline in patient care are worrisome. An American Nurses Association (ANA) fact sheet about the national nursing shortage (2008) highlights the results of recent studies published in medical journals that show how the shortage puts patient’s lives in danger:“Every additional full-time nurse per patient day was associated with a 9% reduction in mortality in intensive care patients and a 16% reduction in mortality in surgical patients. In addition, every additional patient per RN shift was associated with a 53% increase in pulmonary failure, a 43% increased risk on unplanned extubation, a 7% increased risk of hospital acquired pneumonia, and a 17% increased risk in other medical complications.“Nursing shortages were found to correlate with longer lengths of stay, increased incidence of urinary tract infections and upper gastrointestinal bleeding, higher rates of pneumonia, shock and cardiac arrest. Increased hours of RN care resulted in fewer "failure-to-rescue" deaths from pneumonia, shock or cardiac arrest, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, sepsis and deep venous thrombosis.The impact of the nursing shortage also adversely affects nurses. In relation to their interaction with patients, nurses suffer because they have less time for collaboration within staff teams, face greater difficulty maintaining patient safety, are less able to detect complications early on, and have less time for patients (Beurhaus et al. In order to compensate for a lack of staff, many institutions resort to hiring foreign nurses, which often exasperates communication problems among staff teams and with patients, resulting in mistakes and frustration (Walker, 2009). Also, due to the shortage, nurses are subject to a lower quality of work-life because of a negative and stressful environment, long and/or undesirable hours, and a loss of their personal lives (Ibid. This causes more nurses to leave the profession for jobs where they are better paid, more appreciated, and have free time (Ibid.In terms of public health, the nursing shortage results in rising health care costs, as hospitals resort to the use of non-personnel, such as more costly traveler nurses, to fill short-term staff needs (Allen, 2008). The higher
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