Survey: Pa. nurses are chronically short-staffed

nurses strike at Temple University Hospital
Rikard Larma/Metro. Nurses at Temple University Hospital protested the same issues two years ago.

Subtle changes in the condition of hospitalized patients can often mean the difference between life and death, when health care practitioners take notice. But in order to do so, they need to have the time and resources to vigilantly monitor the sick from their bedsides.

Those resources are increasingly harder to come by in Pennsylvania, according to survey results released today by the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals.

Eighty percent of registered Pa. nurses who responded say they have much less time to spend with their patients than in prior years and cited chronic short staffing as the main cause. The same percentage of nurses felt safe minimum nurse-to-patient ratios should be followed in acute care hospitals.

In fact, “respect” and “nurse-to-patient ratios” were the most commonly cited work environment changes that respondents said would substantially improve their job satisfaction.

“These results clearly show that inadequate staffing and patient safety continue to dominate the concerns of Pennsylvania nurses, while the bottom line dominates many hospital executives’ actions,” PASNAP president Patricia Eakin, RN said in a statement.

“Too many Pennsylvania hospital executives appear to be creating a patient safety crisis by putting the bottom line first, and skimping on skilled nurses and other health professionals.”

 

Profits over patients

 

The survey also showed health care professionals are feeling the financial crunch – 72 percent of respondents ranked bottom line profits as their hospital’s number one priority.

When one nurse asked for better staffing for her critical care unit, her manager told her “you are going to have to do more with less,” according to a PASNAP release.

The organization noted Jefferson Health System made a $452 million profit over the last two years and accumulated over $1.6 billion in cash and investments and the University of Pennsylvania Health System is on target to make $100 million in profits this fiscal year and has more than $2 billion in cash and investments.

“With these kinds of healthy income and cash numbers, it is jarring that nurses would be asked to ‘do more with less,’” the release noted.

 

Impending crisis

 

The survey indicated staffing shortages are not likely to end anytime soon – about a quarter of Pa. nurses who responded expect to retire within the next five years and 48 percent plan to leave within 10 years.

“These survey results also show that the hospital industry is about to enter another period of severe labor market shortages for Registered Nurses and other health professionals,”  PASNAP director Bill Cruice said.

“Pennsylvania and the nation are facing an impending labor market crisis that will not be solvable through recruitment of new nurses. Hospitals must implement policies that address nurses’ job satisfaction and for nurses, the number one improvement is for hospitals to provide sufficient staff so they can safely care for their patients.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…

National

3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."

Money

Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

National

Accused Boston bomber’s sister faces judge over bomb…

The sister of the alleged Boston Marathon bomber faced a judge in New York Tuesday on charges that she told her husband's ex-girlfriend she could "put a bomb where you…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

Entertainment

Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

NFL

Source: Drafting Geno Smith was '100 percent' John…

It might have been a “Jets decision” as general manager John Idzik likes to say, but it wasn't a unanimous decision to draft Geno Smith last year.

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

Style

Balmain: Paris Fashion Week

Our review of the Balmain Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Givenchy: Paris Fashion Week

Our review of the Givenchy Spring ' 15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Chanel: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Chanel Spring '15 fashion show.

Style

Louis Vuitton: Paris Fashion Week 2015

Our review of the Louis Vuitton show at Paris Fashion Week.