An issue proposal on the shortage of nurses.

Essay by 3453College, Undergraduate September 2002

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Over the recent years, entering a hospital has become a health gamble. Hospital budget cuts lead to less staff. Fewer and fewer nurses are trying to tend to more and more patients. This creates a dangerous environment for the patients and poor work conditions for the nurses. It's a vicious cycle because nobody wants to enter a profession where you are overworked. Too many hours of forced overtime quickly lowers moral and causes burnouts. So, people quit. In an effort to promptly replace them, new people are brought in and their training is cut short. The training they need soon becomes "on the job" training. So what is the cause? Is it the nurses who are directly responsible for the patients care? After all, they are the ones who usually inflict the harm. Or is the answer more indirect? Are the hospitals at fault because they have unrealistic expectations of realistic people?

In a survey of nurses one out of five plan on quitting in the next year, and over forty percent didn't like their jobs.

As an aspiring nurse this is of great concern. There are a handful of reasons that I decided to enter the nursing field. Helping people is a great, personal satisfaction. Flipping burgers might pay the bills, but it gives you no sense of purpose. The pay is pretty good. However, the more I learn about the job, the more I realize the pay doesn't nearly match the job. There are too many factors that create a dangerous environment. Insufficient staffing is a major factor. It promotes hazardous conditions for both the patient and the nurses. The nurses are stresses out, overworked, and some are under trained. After a twenty-four hour shift on minimal sleep, who wouldn't start to slow down or make...