Healthcare Worker Shortage

Topics: Health care, Employment, Nursing Pages: 6 (1679 words) Published: March 7, 2011
Healthcare Personnel Shortage

Julienne Auguste



February 20, 2011

The medical-surgical unit of ABC hospital is a 52 bed unit divided into three nursing stations. The unit provides care for medical/surgical adult and geriatric patients on various stages of recuperation from diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical interventions. Staffing levels are based on accurate calculation of the volume of patients occupying a bed. Lately the hospital has been experiencing a shortage in staffing of all positions; registered nurses, license practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, technical staff and orderlies. The problem has escalated to a critical level in recent weeks. As a result of this insufficient staffing, stress levels are elevated to the point of impacting job satisfaction. Employees are often overworked by putting in longer hours to make up for the lack of adequate personnel. This practice has taken a toll on employee morale. The hospital is concerned that the quality of patient care may be compromised in the process.

In addition, the sustained shortage over the past few weeks has caused an increase in personnel cost, decrease in efficiency and job satisfaction in the organization as a whole. The hospital has been forced to transfer some of their patients to other nearby hospitals and ambulatory care settings better equipped to handle the flow. These steps are implemented to avoid possible legal and regulatory issues that may arise should a tired and overworked employee drop the ball that negatively impacts a patient. Unless the well-defined plan is developed as soon as possible to stem this matter, the loss of revenue will continue which may result in the facility closing its doors for good.

Medical personnel shortage is a problem not only for ABC hospital but the entire country as a whole. Unless a thoroughly devised blueprint is created, the shortage will have great consequences. This is a problem that is likely to continue for several reasons. At the top of the list is our aging population. According to the American Nursing Association, the average age of the RN population in 2004 was estimated to be older than 46 years of age. “The nation is facing an impending shortage of nurses, which is expected to peak by 2020” (ANA, 2010). To remedy the situation and keep an eye on future staffing needs of the facility, the board of directors has created a task force to develop a plan of action to address this problem before irreparable damage is done.

The plan has been developed to look at a number of remedies including taking a second look at the entire workforce of ABC hospital, in the hopes of manipulating the numbers for better allocation of current employees, using a logical framework approach. An outline with details of the strategic planning process clearly defined to include provisions geared toward increasing retention of current staff employees, provide hospital education and training for nursing personnel, as well as training for entry level employees, recruitment of qualified workers, create employment-based incentive packages, promote employee relation initiatives, and finally, to evaluate and measure outcomes.

The workforce developmental program will be funded through savings and cutbacks from the effort of all employees. The cost saving plan includes ideas to reduce current expenditures throughout the facility. These ideas include limiting unnecessary office supplies in the inventory, the taskforce also developed funding criteria for and application guidelines for the implementation of all facets of the plan.

Employee Retention

Effective employee retention efforts will ensure that talented and knowledgeable workers remain with the organization for the maximum period of time. Employee longevity is one of the most critical components to ensure the survival of any business,...
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