Doctor and Nurse Shortage Grows: What Can Be Done?
The medical professionals that many rely on have grown so frustrated and unsatisfied with their jobs that many are leaving the field. In 2011, a study revealed that 20% of nurses who work directly with patients feel some level of dissatisfaction, compared to 13% of nurses in non-institutionalized environments.
By 2022, more than 500,000 nurses will be needed to help keep up with patient growth and replace nurses who’ve retired or left the field. There’s also a big need for physicians: by 2025, the United States will require more than 90,000 new physicians. But this increased need combined with the lack of resources presents problems for the medical field. One main reason is that there is a lack of faculty to teach incoming nursing and medical students. This is due, in part, to higher salaries in practice settings other than teaching, as well as faculty members who are retiring. Lack of qualified faculty is one of the main reasons that universities are forced to keep nursing classes small and turn away qualified applicants to nursing schools – requiring them to apply at a later date for admittance.
Because nurses are highly adaptable to different settings including long-term care facilities, hospitals, clinics, and community services, they’re in high demand. But in today’s fast-growing professions, nurses must be more than adaptable: they must now emerge as health care leaders and for that to happen, a shift in the professional culture must begin. One of the main ways to begin a culture shift is to ensure that nurses and doctor’s emotional needs are being met. Continuing education, personal wellness (including mental and physical wellness), and recognition are key to ensuring that the profession of nursing adds adequate and qualified staff to its rankings.
As we focus on taking better care of caregivers, we show that they matter and that becoming a nurse or doctor is a great career choice. It’s been proven that increased staff morale improves staff turnover and retention, as does an organizational culture that takes concerns to heart and actively works to resolve workplace problems. While nurses and doctors continue to provide care to patients, we must ensure that they are well taken care of and appreciated.
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