Nurses are a first line of care for patients in the hospital. It’s crucial to patient care for hospitals to have adequate staffing throughout each shift. Anything less can compromise patient safety.
A nursing shortage can potentially put you at risk in several ways. While hospitals and health care facilities will do their best to maintain high standards of care, the shortage can strain the system and may affect your experience as a patient.
Longer wait times
With fewer nurses on staff, you might experience longer wait times for care, which could result in delays when you need assistance. Nurses may have to take on additional responsibilities due to the nursing shortage, which can lead to fatigue and burnout. This can potentially impact their ability to provide optimal care and be attentive to your needs.
Reduced quality of care
When nurses are stretched thin, they might not have enough time to spend with each patient. This could result in a decreased quality of care, as they may be unable to provide personalized attention and support. Overworked and exhausted nurses are more likely to make mistakes, which can potentially harm your health and safety. Errors might include administering incorrect medications or dosages, overlooking important symptoms or miscommunication among health care team members.
To help ensure that you receive the best care possible during a nursing shortage, it’s important to advocate for yourself and stay informed about your treatment plan. Communicate openly with your health care team, ask questions, and voice your concerns if you feel that your care is being compromised. If you suffer harm because of negligence, it’s wise to look into your options for seeking compensation.