Nurses are begging for more support amid the ongoing nurse shortage crisis, which increased before the pandemic and continues to take a mental and physical toll on workers.
According to ER Level 1 trauma nurse Karen Fountain, many people walk away from work in tears. Fountain also leads 240 nurses at NYC hospitals as clinical services and nursing director for Ingenovis Health/Fastaff Travel Nurses.
“Nurses are walking out of the building several times a week while they are crying or crying. [nurses] He’s trying to care for more patients in the building than they can do, Fountain told FOX Business. We don’t want to offer bad care and we try our best not to. But when you have the proportions the nurses [are] Right now, there’s no way to deliver the best healthcare you want.”
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According to a March survey by Incredible Health, 34% of nurses surveyed said they would likely leave their jobs by the end of the year. According to the data, approximately 44% of nurses said that burnout and high-stress environment were the driving force behind their decision to quit by the end of 2022.
Another problem, Fountain said, is that nurses, even travel nurses who don’t receive compensation for sick days, are taking more leave than ever before.
“They’re tired and they’re not afraid to say, ‘I need an emotional day. I’m emotionally overstressed,'” he added.
Fountain recalled receiving between 15 and 20 plus calls a day at a New York City-based facility.
“Nursing is burnout. We were exhausted from COVID and now we’re entering another season where this flu season is going to be awful,” Fountain said.
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He argued that the industry “needs more healthcare providers or more helpful support so we can do the job the best we can, not just put a Band-Aid on a bleeding artery.” And that’s how healthcare feels right now.”
Andrea Law, a registered nurse working in home health in the Las Vegas valley, said one of the biggest concerns in the industry is how to safely manage a patient within the parameters covered by insurance.
The biggest concern now is how to care for a patient with limited nursing resources, according to Law, who has held jobs ranging from a field clinician to a clinical manager who oversees more than 100 staff.
“Patients are sent home from the hospital with greater precision and with fewer community resources such as home health care,” Law said. “This has resulted in higher hospital readmission rates, poor patient outcomes, and lower job satisfaction for everyone in the healthcare industry.”
Law warned that if things don’t change soon, the industry will “continue to see declines in quality of care and patient outcomes.”
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Solving the nurse shortage crisis won’t be easy, but Fountain predicted the crisis will only get worse if the medical industry doesn’t bring more nurses into the field “as soon as possible”.
The Department of Labor reported that “the unprecedented demands placed on the nation’s nurses by the pandemic – coupled with retirements and an aging workforce – have greatly increased the need for nursing workers in the United States.”
The department predicted that more than 275,000 additional nurses will be needed from 2020 to 2030.
However, a registered nurse and professor at the Arizona College of Nursing, Dr. Amber Kool told FOX Business that shortages have been a problem for decades. The pandemic has made it worse.
“At the height of the pandemic, there was an increase in patient workload and nurses saw a significant number of deaths and comorbidities related to COVID-19,” he said, adding that this is pushing some to quit.
Moreover, providing clinical opportunities for student nurses during the pandemic was not only difficult, but sometimes nearly impossible.
“Patient care was a priority, and it was right. But that meant that some students weren’t progressing that fast in their nursing program,” she added.
Making matters worse is the fact that enrollment in nursing school “could not keep up with the demand for new nurses despite high interest in the profession.”
He added that many qualified applicants were not accepted and there were not enough open places in the programs to educate the next generation.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has previously issued similar concerns, stating that “nursing schools across the country are struggling to expand their capacity to meet the growing demand for care.”
Kool believes we need to provide more educational opportunities for those who want to enter nursing.
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However, Fountain said that getting into school was just one hurdle. She argued that the education system should support nursing students while in school with better resources to allow them to learn and grow, such as on-campus mentoring programs, learning workshops, and one-on-one tutoring.
He also argued that there should be programs and incentives that “force people to enter healthcare.”
That could be anything from better credit amnesty for students entering the healthcare field, or from hospitals increasing “grow your own nursing” programs with free training for adherence to that facility, he said.
Just last month, the labor department announced an $80 million funding opportunity through the Nursing Expansion Grant Program to help train, expand and diversify the nursing workforce.