Impact of Nurses Shortage on Patient Care at Kabwe General Hospital

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IMPACT OF NURSES SHORTAGE ON HOSPITAL PATIENT CARE AT KABWE GENERAL HOSPITAL

October 2011

Consultancy Report submitted to Oxford Brookes University for the partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Executive Summary
The nurse is one of the most important components of the health care hierarchy in that they see to the moment to moment care needs of patients after the doctor has performed his diagnostic and or services. Their responsibilities broach a wide spectrum of services with one of the most important being administration of acute care. This type of care is one rung below critical care; however it is just as important in the recovery of a patient. The decline in nursing services over the past years coupled with the increase in population and other medical complications in Zambia and globally, has created a crisis in the health services whereby the number of patients per nurse has increased to unmanageable proportions. The hospital has made progress in delivering health services to the population of central province, despite challenges it is facing in meeting the millennium development goals (MDGs). One of the contributing factors to the challenges is the critical shortage of human resources for health, especially of nurses and midwives, who form close to 75% of skilled health work force. In an effort to contribute towards the attainment of MDGs for the country, the hospital is under significant pressure to reduce the disease burden and improve the health of citizens accessing health services from it. The provision of health care is seen by most countries as high priority. The degree of accountability for health care services and the concept of care are at the forefront of most political discussion. However, accountability becomes difficult when there is an inadequate supply of health care personnel such as nurses. In Zambia, for example, the lack of nurses is a continuously debated issue in newspapers, radio stations and magazines, but there is little resolution at the moment. It has been demonstrated that nursing care is essential to providing health care in a wide range of settings. As a result much attention has been paid to levels of nursing staffing and variables necessary to provide safe and effective health care. The current shortage of nurses in Zambian hospitals particularly Kabwe general hospital has made this vision un attainable due to mentioned problem. The past decade has been turbulent for the hospital and practicing nurses. Patients, communities and hospital staff have trumpeted urgent concerns about the hospital understaffing and growing hospital nurse shortage. This report will put forward recommendation that will help the hospital reduce on the adverse effects that the nursing shortage has imparted on both patients and the nurses. In addition to this I will attach a reflective essay as an appendix to the report to evaluate my learning experiences from this report so as a detailed personal career development plan can be designed for any shortfalls that will be identified on my part in this consultancy project.

CHAPTER 1
Introduction and Terms of Reference The Hospital is situated in central province of Zambia in a town called Kabwe which is the provincial headquarters. The hospital was established in 1956 and has a total bed capacity of 520. The hospital has grown from its initial bed capacity of 200 to the current state due to increase in population and urban drifts of people from rural areas to look for better living. This is a second level hospital and offers services such as pediatrics, medicine, surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, outpatient department and other support functions which are not available in first level hospitals found in...
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