Every single institution depends on its staff. However, when hospitals and nursing homes are in question, you might think that doctors are the healthcare professionals that are the backbone of those places. Although nobody can deny doctors’ value and importance, there are employees that directly affect the quality of care in a specific institution. As you can see if you read this, I am talking about nurses and their importance in the healthcare system.
It appears that the healthcare system I have mentioned is going through enormous challenges today. One of the biggest issues that it is facing is closely connected to nurses. Almost everywhere you go, there is a shortage of these medical professionals, which significantly affects the quality of care. Have you ever wondered if your unit might actually be among the short-staffed ones?
You’d be surprised how many people don’t notice, or decide not to notice, this shortage of staff until something serious happens. As long as people aren’t complaining too much, they believe that everything is in the best possible order. They can watch their nurses struggling to go through with this shift and at the end of the day everything seems to have gone so smoothly, but it actually didn’t. Don’t be one of those people.
When there aren’t enough nurses, your patients and your employees all suffer. There are always some subtle signs that can tell you when your unit is lacking registered nurses (RNs) and you need to be attentive to spot them. The moment you spot those signs should be the moment when you decide to hire more RNs.
I understand that it might be a bit difficult to find the right people and that you must also have other things on your mind, but proper nurse staffing is something you must put your focus on if you want your healthcare institution to be among the best ones. The right thing to do is hire a professional staffing agency to take care of this for you. That way, you will get the best people working for you, while also being able to focus on other important things. Let us now check the signs I have mentioned.
Medication Errors Are Committed
If there is one thing that nurses fear the most, then it is the possibility of mixing up medications and giving the wrong drugs to the wrong people. While there is always a carefully created system aimed at avoiding these errors, it can very well happen, especially when your staff is overwhelmed. Having too many patients adds to their stress and increases their chances of making a mistake.
This can open you to lawsuits or even lead to you losing your license. When you hear that someone has almost made a mistake, that’s your cue to think of partnering up with an agency and getting more staff on board. You don’t want the “almost” to turn into “definitely”, because it is as bad for your patients as it is for you.
Patients Are Complaining
Everyone can come across a few grumpy patients that seem to do nothing else but complain. This is probably because they are angry at the very idea of needing someone’s help and you shouldn’t immediately blame your staff and mark them as incompetent. When too many people are complaining, however, that’s when you should get concerned.
Here are a few tips on how to deal with complaints: https://www.ausmed.com.au/cpd/articles/complaints-in-healthcare
When your nurses are in a rush and always all over the place, it can get easy for the patients to feel neglected and not properly taken care of. That is a good, as well as a justified, reason to complain. Hiring more staff could solve the issue very quickly and effectively. Instead of criticizing your RNs and burdening them even more, think about making their job easier, which will lead to happier patients.
Nurses Are Complaining
A lot of employers tend to disregard the complaints they get from their staff. They believe that they just aren’t loving the hard work they have to do and that it is making them unnecessarily complain. Those employers have a hard time admitting that they are the ones making a mistake and that they are neglecting the wellbeing of their nurses, their patients, as well as the whole institution. Once again, don’t be one of those people.
Sure, there might be people who just aren’t cut out for this work and you should be able to recognize them and see their complaints for what they really are. Most of the times, though, unsatisfied staff is really a sign that there is not enough staff and that the people working in a specific unit are really too burdened. As it was already mentioned above, the perfect solution would be to partner up with a staffing agency and hire more competent people to work for you.