Understaffing Case Study

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Understaffing is one of the prominent problems that hospitals and healthcare facilities are facing. Hospitals and healthcare facilities argue that they do not have enough budget to hire nurses to care for patients. While some say that there are not enough nurses here in the United States to hire. Also, hospital administrators think that hiring extra workers is not economically right. However, nurses and staffs disagree. When facilities do not have enough staff, it is the workers, especially the nurses that are having a hard time. They are the one that are suffering from overworking and pressure which leads to mistakes that will affect the hospital’s reputation and patient’s health. Nurses are here to care and nurture a patient and therefore…show more content…
When hospitals do not have enough staff to care for patients, nurses are required to work overtime and because of that, 50% of nurses quit their job (Martin). This is not healthy for nurses and not safe for patients because if nurses are constantly working overtime, they can become tired and dissatisfied with their job. Moreover, when nurses are dissatisfied with their job because of always working overtime, it lead nurses to quit their job which can become a problem for hospitals because it is hard to keep training new nurses all the time. This can cost money and effort. In addition, it will affect patients because it nurses are tired from working overtime, quality of care for patients can suffer. According to Sung-Heui Bae, author of “Nursing Overtime: Why, How Much, and Under What Working Conditions?”, When a nurse works for over 12 hours or more than 60 hours a week, nurses are more prone to making medical errors which can compromise a patient’s safety (Bae). Like what Fackelmann says, “Overworked nurse may not get to a patient quickly enough to catch a subtle sign of a potentially deadly complication”. This can be one of the reason of 20,000 death of patients each year because of overworked nurses…show more content…
One of the ethical laws of Nursing is Nonmaleficence or the requirement for nurses to act in such a manner to avoid hurting patients (Martin). However, if hospitals are understaffing, nurses are more prone to making mistakes that can hurt a patient. For example, a patient might be ringing a bell for help. However, the nurse does not respond because he/she is busy caring for another patient. This can be an example of failing to do non maleficence. This affects the emotional happiness of patients. Moreover, nurses are prone in making mistakes if hospitals are understaffed. For example, a nurse can give wrong medication to a patient due to busyness. This is another example of non-maleficence. Moreover, a great example is given by, Roni Jacobson, author of “Widespread Understaffing of Nurses Increases The Risk to Patient” mentions, “If you have several patients, and one is having a sudden hemorrhage and one is having chest pain and the other is having a stroke or is choking, you have to have enough nurses that can deal with each of those instances and not place one above the other” (Jacobson). Again, this is a great example where nurses fail to do non-maleficence because there are not enough nurses to care for all the patients. In addition, nurses cannot look after every patient if hospitals are
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