Top 5 Challenges faced by Nurses

Nurses are vital part of the healthcare industry, providing patient care at healthcare centers and hospitals. This is a noble though not often rewarding profession, considering pay is not uniform and work-pressure is never ceasing. The fact cannot be denied that nursing professionals face challenges. They face variety of challenges - some are easy to overcome; while some issues are highly intricate. In addition to that, there is a lack of universal legislature to help nurses with these issues at the administrative, state, or national level.

Here are few of the challenges that are hurdles in the nursing profession, not allowing them to pursue their multi-functional roles in hospitals and healthcare centers effectively.

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Shortage in staffing 

Hospitals are suffering from financial crisis due to increased healthcare costs. They are trying to cut down cost in all possible ways. Nurses are no exceptions. There is a limited recruitment of nurse staffs e. However, these cost cuts linking to deduction of staff count implies increased workload and mental stress on the existing nursing staff.  The reason being reduced manpower. Reasonable count manpower would have helped in equal and sustainable work distribution.

In fact, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) it is estimated that the job outlook for Registered Nurses especially will grow by 16% by 2024!


Violence at workplace

Another major threat for nurses is the violence they come across in their workplace.  Occupational Health Safety Network revealed discomforting news that from 2012 to 2014, workplace violence grievance proportions amplified in all sectors of healthcare. Nursing staff leading the line are victimized to violence ranging from verbal assaults to attacks from drunken patients. A collective count of 112 U.S. amenities in 19 states lodged 10,680 Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordable damages that were caused from January 1, 2012, to September 30, 2014. Though no foolproof plan is possible, yet many hospitals are keeping specialist nurses to attend upon patients with special needs.

Reduced compensation

When we talk about monetary compensation, it is greatly affected by the geography and the cost of living quoted by that region. A survey conducted by Becker’s Hospital reveals the following:
Nurses employed in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States earned $14,800 additional wage than the national average salary earned by staff nurses.
Nursing staff in the Pacific region bagged in $4,300 reduced amount than the average obtained salary.
The gender classification has its own role to play in monetary compensations of nursing staff. Male nurses earned more compared to female nurses with a difference $5,000.

Workplace Hazards

Workplace vulnerabilities craft an unfavorable atmosphere for nurses as well as patients. Nurses are continuously in contact with lethal chemicals and resources that can harm their health. According to the BLS, nurses are prone to 35,000 odd grievances that include posterior, shoulders and feet. A recent study by OSHA anticipates that 5.6 million out of roughly 12.2 million nursing staff in the medical sector are at threat of professional exposure to blood borne pathogens.

Prolonged working hours

Nurses are expected to work overtime most often. The majority of hospices compel their nurses to recurrently work long hours and overtime. Nurses are frequently estimated to work for 12-hour shifts and do overtime. They fail to comprehend that nurses have a life outside the hospital and they need to take care of themselves once they are away from the hospital. The reason can either be high patient inflow or inadequate staffing. Though leading Hospitals in the U.S. are gradually providing additional benefits and flexible/shift working hours for nurses, it is still one of the major challenges that affect their performance.

The fixes for the majority of the challenges faced by nurses need collective action from the government and healthcare system. This results in a lack of effective patient care and eventually a bad name to hospitals as well. Hospitals should be liable for the safety of its employees and take all possible measures to avoid the hazards that occur at the workplace.

Written by betty smith for : Healthcare email list
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