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The effects of nursing understaffing: Patient safety

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2022 | Nursing Home Negligence

Understaffed nursing may affect patient safety as well as practice management. Recent health events in New Mexico and elsewhere had an effect on the nursing field. Nurses had much switching around, possibly leading to a decrease in patient safety as well as cognitive failures of the staff.

According to studies, workforce management is one of the keys to the mental health of nurses. At one point, recent demand for nurses increased to 245%. Burnout of nurses may lead to poor patient outcomes, negligence and more. Where staffs have a shortage of nurses, problems arise in the care of patients.

Potential for accidents and injuries

Cutting corners became necessary more recently. A heavier workload resulted in an effort by nurses to get the work done quickly. This type of issue may lead to injury as well as more mistakes in patient care.

Safety workarounds discovered

Workarounds became more prevalent, and as that happened, the potential for a heavier workload and more time pressures increased. There were closer calls and near-misses as a result.

Expertise understaffing

The necessary leaders within a group were missing. In some cases, there was reassignment of superiors to work in urgent care units. Higher stress levels by nurses were part of the reported results. In order for the nurses to perform at their best, they may need the advice and help of their superiors. If the leaders are not present, it’s patient care that feels the effect.

Understaffing affects patients

Not just the nurses suffer when understaffing occurs. Patients become at risk, either with such conditions as
nursing home negligence, medication errors, injuries and other nursing mistakes.

Understaffing of nurses affects patient safety and care throughout health care facilities. Nurses were more stressed as recent workarounds led to an increase in workload and pressure. This may have an effect on patients as well as nurses.


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