The Path Forward: 7.26.2022

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nursing
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 7:55 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -A national survey of more than 22 hundred registered nurses reveals the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nursing profession. In the final of a two-part The Path Forward, Shawn Cunningham reports on how that strain might impact present day patient care.

When you go to the hospital or your doctor’s office, you’re expected to have a nurse or some other assisting healthcare practitioner taking your vitals and helping to assess your medical needs. But what if suddenly, no one was there...And imiagine that happening in the case of a medical emergency. A researcher with the Illinois Economic Policy Institute says that fear could become reality as a large number of nurses leave the profession in the next year...

Grace Dunn Researcher, Illinois Economic Policy Institute

“this is a fact that should just stand on its own our study found that 51% so the majority of nurses said they’re considering leaving the profession within the next 12 months that’s half of nurses picture your local hospital picture it half full at the rate that it is right now...”

Shawn Cunningham NO STANDUP

(Nat. Sound)

The recent study paints a bleak picture for the nursing profession in the next few years. Dunn says the pandemic certainly did not improve challenges to the profession...but heightened them...

“the nursing profession is not doing well the pandemic has only exposed what we’ve already seen before we know staffing levels are inadequate only 30 percent of nurses we studied said staffing levels were based on the actual needs of patients..”

And she explains in greater detail why those numbers are important to overall patientcare..

“staffing levels were significantly better for nurses who cared for 5 or more patients than those who cared for 6 or more so we’re looking at a bleak outcome across every metric its really truly something that needs to be looked into.”

That’s important because as the study indicates, empirical research has long linked nurse-to-patient ratios or ‘safe patient limits,’ staffing committees, and other policy instruments to better overall outcomes for both patients and nurses. The study was conducted 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, with the responses collected during the wave of hospitalizations and deaths associated primarily with the Delta variant, but before the onset of the Omicron variant. Overall Dunn says its an important closeup into what’s happening in healthcare...

“its something that every man woman and child should care about healthcare is not a singular issue it affects all of us no matter what everyone has had to go through some type of routine checkup nurses are there they are always there..

But she says if the study is spot on, that could change unless structural changes happen...Shawn Cunningham, NS 8.

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