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

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…