Issues/Challenges of Today’s Health Care Organization
Grand Canyon University
As a manager of an ancillary service department at a large, 500+ bed hospital, it is my duty to inform my staff of the nursing shortage and poor job satisfaction rates resulting in turnover. Nurses are an important aspect of health care and are the largest section of the health profession. Nursing staff shortages continues be an issue of concern to the nursing profession with many factors and potential reasons. A possible reason for the nursing shortage and issue that an organization faces is the concept of poor job satisfaction rates resulting in turnover. This paper will discuss nursing shortages and poor job satisfaction rates resulting in turnover and how they impact departments, and how they can be improved. Two examples of techniques from the recommended readings that promote inclusion and improve communication and collaboration will also be discussed.
Nursing shortages negatively impacts our department with the health of our employees and most importantly, patient care. Some factors that contribute to the nursing shortage include, but are not limited to, aging population, aging workforce, nurse burnout, career and family, regions, growth, and violence in the health care setting (Haddad & Toney-Butley, 2019). With a staffing shortage, nurses are often left with a high patient-to-nurse ratio, which results in burnout, dissatisfaction, and the patient’s experienced higher mortality and failure-to-rescue rates when compared to lower patient-to-nurse ratios (Haddad & Toney-Butley, 2019). Lastly, prolonged shortages might also reduce the quantity of patient care, increase operating and labor costs, and decrease the efficiency and effectiveness of care provided (Buerhaus et. al., 2007).
Poor job satisfaction rates are one factor out of many that result in nursing shortages. There are many factors that impact job satisfaction. Nurses’ job satisfaction has been linked to patient care and outcomes. According to Larson (2016), at least 30 years’ worth of research has consistently demonstrated a link between nurse job satisfaction and patient outcomes. Therefore, when nurses feel engaged, empowered and satisfied with their job, they are most likely to thrive and achieve high-quality patient care.
There are no solutions that completely corrects the nursing shortages and job dissatisfaction issues. McHugh, Kutney-Lee, Cimiotti, Sloane, & Aiken (2011) suggest that improving patient satisfaction and avoiding other adverse patient outcomes while also improving nurse satisfaction and retention by improving working conditions for nurses may be possible. Larson (2016) adds that there are many theories as to the best strategies to address the shortage, but the strategies that focus on truly improving the workplace have the best potential. The old traditional sign-on bonuses are not effective at retaining and recruiting nurses and will continue to get worse as the profession ages over the next decade. Suggestions that I have from personal experience include having respect for each other, providing better work environments, remaining fair about employee assignments, enhancing communication and having an “open door” policy.
For a department to run smoothly, there must always be effective communication, collaboration, and teamwork. These components are beneficial not only for employees, but also for patients and families. Health care teams that communicate effectively and work collaboratively reduce the potential for error, resulting in enhanced patient safety and improved clinical performance (Bhatt & Swick, 2017). Collaboration and teamwork are used among team members to achieve a common goal by sharing their ideas and skills. Effective communication is a core function of a high-performing team and is used to address concerns, ideas, issues, etc. Without communication, collaboration and teamwork would be nonexistent.
From this week’s readings, I found two examples of techniques in the article, Core Principles & Values of Effective Team-Based Health Care, that foster inclusion and improve communication and collaboration. Mitchell et al. (2012) states that for communication to be effective, there must be incorporation of all the values underlying effective teams, and they are honesty, discipline, creativity, humility, and curiosity. In addition, communication is a learned skilled that can be mastered by a set of teachable skills that can be developed by each member of the team and by the team as a whole. I can agree that communication is important and must be learned before collaboration can be fostered.
In conclusion, nursing shortages and job dissatisfaction remain to be inevitable issues that affect the nursing profession. These two issues can negatively impact the nursing profession along with its employees, patients, and families. As of today, there are no exact interventions to correct the nursing shortage and job dissatisfaction. Improving the workplace environment, enhancing communication, collaboration, and teamwork are options out of many that could possibly prevent these occurring problems.
Bhatt, J. & Swick, M. (March 15, 2017). Focusing on Teamwork and Communication to Improve Patient Safety. Retrieved from https://www.aha.org/news/blog/2017-03-15-focusing-teamwork-and-communication-improve-patient-safety
Buerhaus, P. I., Donelan, K., Ulrich, B. T., Norman, L. DesRoches, C., & Dittus, R. (May/June 2007). Impact of The Nurse Shortage on Hospital Patient Care: Comparative Perspectives. Health Affairs, 26(3)
Haddad, L. M., & Toney-Butler, T. J. (January 2019). Nursing Shortage. In StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing
Larson, J. (2016). Creating Solutions to the Nursing Shortage. Retrieved from https://www.americanmobile.com/nursezone/nursing-news/creating-solutions-to-the-nursing-shortage.aspx
Larson, J. (2016). Why Nurses’ Job Satisfaction Matters to Patients. Retrieved from https://www.americanmobile.com/nursezone/nursing-news/why-nurses-job-satisfaction-matters-to-patients/
McHugh, M. D., Kutney-Lee, A., Cimiotti, J. P., Sloane, D. M., & Aiken, L. H. (2011). Nurses’ widespread job dissatisfaction, burnout, and frustration with health benefits signal problems for patient care. Health affairs (Project Hope), 30(2), 202–210. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0100