How Medical Staffing Shortages Impact Healthcare

Hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices across the country often have problems filling job vacancies due to the lack of qualified personnel. With staffing shortages, people quickly get burned out because they need to work long hours to help care for patients or to handle administrative duties. Fortunately, many facilities can find qualified personnel by using companies specializing medical staffing Houston, TX.

Effects of Staff Shortages

The most common shortages in the medical field are nursing staff at hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and even in schools. Along with affecting nurses who are forced to work long hours, including mandatory double shifts, when there are not enough people on staff, patient care is also impacted by shortages. The result of staff shortages and tired staff, including both nurses and doctors, can include:

  • Patients forced to wait longer for help in emergency rooms.
  • Patients receiving the wrong medications or the wrong dosages.
  • Nurses may injure themselves by pricking themselves with needles while caring for patients.
  • Both nurses and doctors being under more stress, which impacts their health.
  • Job burnout, sometimes resulting in staff quitting.

Unfortunately, some of these issues can also result in an increased mortality rate as more mistakes are made or patients are forced to wait longer to receive care.

Causes of Shortages

There are many causes for both nursing and doctor shortages, including:

  • Shortage of educated personnel.
  • Aging staff who have retired.
  • An increase of older patients needing healthcare.
  • An increased access to healthcare due to the Affordable Care Act.
  • Raising costs, resulting in hospitals cutting staff.

Until more people can be educated and trained, adequate staffing will continue to be a problem for medical facilities. Fortunately, medical staffing agencies can help clinics, doctor’s offices and nursing homes find the educated, trained staff they need to provide the best patient care they can.