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Write an assignment on the Impact of Nursing Shortage
The nursing shortage has known to occur throughout history and is an issue experienced worldwide. The CBC news explored the staff shortage in Canada including Manitoba. There are lack of registered nurses and the available nurses are improperly distributed and inadequately utilized. It was observed that very few nurses were enrolled under registered nurses in the year 2016 (Kubinec & Freedman, 2013). The shortage and inadequate distribution of the nurses in the hospitals cause various problems to the nurses and the institution and lead to certain medical errors. The patients undergo the serious impacts of the nursing shortage (Buerhaus, Donelan, Ulrich, Norman, DesRoches, & Dittus, 2007) .
Impact of long hours of work
A balanced work and family life lead to productive work and job satisfaction. Long hours of work on a regular basis causes deterioration of work quality and impairment in the physical and mental health, eventually resulting in a disrupted family and social life. Such situations has caused frequent absenteeism and quitting the job among the nurses in Manitoba (Kubinec & Freedman, 2013).
Long work hours interfere with the sleep pattern of the nurses. According to the registered nurses of Manitoba, trying to balance the work and family leads to long hours of work in the workplace and home, resulting in excessive fatigue and reduced hours of sleep (Kubinec & Freedman, 2013). This often results in sleepiness during work resulting in involuntarily falling asleep and microsleep episodes. Sleep deprivation also leads to lack of concentration, impaired reaction time, inability to follow instruction and learn new skills and cope with the emotional demands of the workplace. Thus, it reduces response towards the identification and management of patient's needs. This also decreases the decision-making ability and increases the chances of risk-taking behaviour (Caruso, 2014).
The work errors are higher during the evening (15% higher) and night (28% higher) shifts than day duties. The errors were reportedly higher in 10-hour shifts (13%), 12-hour shifts (28%), third and fourth consecutive night shifts (17% and 36% respectively) than the regular 6-hour or the 8-hour shifts (Caruso, 2014). Overtime working causes increase the risk of needlestick and other health injuries, nosocomial infections, patient falls and injuries, pressure sores, urinary tract infections and medication errors such as wrong medication and dosage (Caruso, 2014).
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