How does Nursing Shortage Affect Children 72989 1 - How does Nursing Shortage Affect Children?
June 6, 2022

The current nursing shortage experienced in the United States has made it hard for healthcare facilities across the country to fill up open nursing positions. Projections show that the nursing shortage will worsen by 2030, with nearly 1 million nurses leaving the profession. And most hospital executives have been frustrated constantly when trying to recruit and retain nurses, particularly amid this crisis.

What has led to the nursing shortage?

The increased number of retiring has been the major reason behind the nursing shortage in the country. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that close to 1 million nurses will retire by 2022. Besides, the statistics show that healthcare facilities will increase by close to 15% by 2029—but these facilities will experience serious nursing shortages.

While the employment of nurses is set to increase, those looking for nursing jobs will not. And the demand for certified nurses will continue to increase as more and more people, especially children and the elderly, will continue seeking medical care. The number of retiring nurses has put lots of stress and pressure on healthcare workers, making many leave the profession, yet there’s no one to replace them.

So, what’s the impact of the nursing shortage on children? In this post, we shall discuss the impacts of the nursing shortage on children and how this can be solved. Read on for more information.

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Limited Childcare Services

The first and most obvious impact of the nursing shortage on children is that it limits the availability of childcare services. When there are not enough nurses to care for all the children in a hospital, some of those kids will have to be sent home. This can put a lot of stress on families who were counting on being able to leave their child in the hospital for treatment.

Longer Wait Times

Longer wait times are another common impact of nursing shortages. When there aren’t enough nurses to go around, patients can wait longer for care. This is especially true in case of emergency situations. If a hospital is short-staffed, it may not have enough nurses to triage patients as they come in. This can lead to longer wait times for everyone, but it can be especially hard on kids who are in pain or scared.

Increased Risk of Infection

Infections are always a risk in hospitals, but they can be especially common when there aren’t enough nurses to keep things clean. When a hospital is short-staffed, nurses may not have enough time to wash their hands or clean up after each patient. This can lead to the spread of infection, which is particularly dangerous for kids whose immune systems are still developing.

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Less individualized care

When fewer nurses are available, each nurse has to care for more patients. This can lead to less individualized care. Nurses may not have enough time to get to know their patients and their families, making it harder to provide the best possible care. This is especially true for kids with complex medical needs who require much attention.

Poor decision making

When nurses are overworked, they may start to make mistakes. This can lead to poor decision-making and even put patients’ lives at risk. In some cases, nurses may resort to shortcuts to quickly get their work done. For example, they may not take the time to wash their hands or to properly clean equipment. This can put kids at risk of developing infections or other complications.

Increased stress

The experts from international nursing jobs agency, Connetics USA say that these factors can lead to increased stress for both nurses and families. When nurses are overworked, they may be more likely to make mistakes or to become burned out. This can lead to job dissatisfaction and even turnover. And, when families don’t feel like their child is getting the best possible care, they can become stressed and anxious.

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The nursing shortage is a complex problem with no easy solutions. However, there are some steps that both hospitals and families can take to mitigate the impact of the nursing shortage on children.

Hospitals can:

  • Increase wages and benefits to attract and retain nurses
  • Offer flexible scheduling to allow nurses to better balance their work and personal lives
  • Increase staffing levels to provide more individualized care
  • Implement policies and procedures to reduce the risk of errors and infections

Families can:

  • Educate themselves about their child’s condition and treatment plan
  • Be involved in their child’s care and advocate for their needs
  • Communicate openly with the nursing staff to ensure that their child is receiving the best possible care

While the nursing shortage is a complex problem, there are steps that both hospitals and families can take to mitigate its impact on children. By working together, it’s possible to ensure that kids get the care they need and deserve.

Bottom Line

According to the National Institute of Health, there is a current and impending nursing shortage in the United States. This shortage is predicted to grow exponentially in the next several years as our population ages and the need for healthcare services increases. This shortage will have a significant impact on all aspects of healthcare, but it will be felt most acutely in pediatrics. As more and more nurses are needed to care for elderly patients, fewer nurses will be available to provide care for children. This could lead to a decrease in the quality of care that children receive and an increase in wait times for appointments and procedures.

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In addition, the shortage of nurses could lead to a decrease in the number of childcare facilities and an increase in childcare costs. This would put an additional burden on families already struggling to make ends meet. The nursing shortage is a complex problem with far-reaching consequences. Unless something is done to address the issue, the lives of children could be negatively impacted for years to come.

 

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