Short staffing is more prevalent than ever in many medical facilities. It causes workplace dissatisfaction and strikes among staff, since medical facilities have fewer than required personnel at their disposal.
Sometimes, short staffing occurs due to budget cuts that force a medical facility to reduce staff. Or, it can be a temporary issue caused by seasonal fluctuations. For example, there may be a shortage of staff during the holiday season. Or, back-to-school season may lead nurses and other medical staff to temporarily step away. This can lead to a staffing shortage that makes it tough for a medical facility to perform at peak levels.
Whatever the reason, medical staff members aren’t the only ones who suffer due to short staffing. In fact, short staffing affects the quality of service in medical facilities.
In an understaffed medical facility, staff members need to work more than they should be. This can contribute to burnout.
Medical staff members dealing with burnout can have trouble concentrating on their work. They are also more prone to fatigue. This can make burnt-out medical staff members more likely to make mistakes. And even a single mistake can impact a patient’s health and wellbeing.
With appropriate staffing, medical personnel can avoid working long hours and the exhaustion that comes with it. They can take regular breaks and stay refreshed during the day. Plus, they can maintain and establish a healthy work-life balance. Most importantly, they can consistently deliver high-quality service.
If a medical facility is properly staffed, personnel can provide exceptional service and help the facility thrive. These staff members are less susceptible to mistakes and readmissions. They can also help a medical facility lower its operating costs and effectively plan for patient discharges.
Of course, when a medical facility is short-staffed, there is little to no time for some work to be done. Hence, much of the patient care is not completed. This can lead to myriad problems that affect a medical facility’s reputation.
For example, patients may complain that they are not being washed every day or not being attended quickly enough if a medical facility lacks adequate staffing. Along with patient hygiene issues, short staffing can impact how medical staff educate and monitor patients. It can result in missed patient feedings and similar problems as well.
Understaffing can have a direct impact on mortality rates, too. Limited staff availability can result in limited patient care and support. This can have a direct impact on a patient’s chance of making a full recovery from a serious injury or illness.
Furthermore, being understaffed means that urgent tasks in a medical facility have to be executed by someone that might not be fully qualified for it. For instance, if a patient needs something urgently and there is no doctor available soon enough, a nurse may need to act quickly and do procedures that he or she might not actually be responsible for or authorized to do. This can put the patient in danger. It also can lead to legal problems for the nurse that administers patient treatment and their medical facility.
Ultimately, being short-staffed can have a negative impact on the quality of service in medical facilities. But with the right approach to short staffing, a medical facility can address the problem before it escalates.
Typically, it helps to review a medical facility’s staffing needs regularly. This allows facility leaders to find out where staff is needed. It can then seek out talent to fill a wide range of roles.
It can be beneficial to conduct patient evaluations. Then, a medical facility can find out how patients feel about the standard of care it provides. The facility can collect patient feedback and use it to take its standard of care to new heights.
Lastly, if a medical facility needs help with staffing, partner with the team at BOS Staffing. We can learn about your medical facility’s staffing requirements. And we can help you put short staffing issues in the past. To learn more about our staffing services, get in touch with us today.