Current issues response discussion

Current issues response discussion

The national healthcare issue/stressor selected for analysis is the nursing shortage. The nursing shortage is an ongoing issue affecting healthcare delivery in the United States for decades. By 2022, the U.S. will have a shortage of over 1 million registered nurses (RN). The nursing shortage has been linked to factors such as an aging workforce, retirement, low staffing levels, and the inability to attract and retain new nurses (Buerhaus, 2021). The nursing shortage may significantly impact my work setting as a nurse in a hospital. Nurses play a vital role in the healthcare system, and with adequate staffing levels, the quality of care and patient outcomes may be positively affected. A shortage of nurses can lead to increased workloads, long working hours, burnout, and decreased job satisfaction. All these factors may
lead to errors, decreased patient satisfaction, and increased patient mortality (Tamata & Mohammadnezhad, 2022).

The social determinant that most affect this health issue is the lack of financial resources in the healthcare system. Healthcare organizations may need more financial resources to hire and retain more nurses. My work setting has implemented several changes in response to the nursing shortage. These changes include using technology to reduce nurses’ workload (Rosseter, 2022). For instance, the hospital has implemented a medication administration system that reduces the time required to administer medications. Additionally, the hospital has partnered with nursing schools to provide clinical experiences to nursing students, allowing nurses to be hired within the hospital. The hospital also provides tuition reimbursement for nurses who want to further their education, which will help increase the number of RNs in the workforce (Tamata & Mohammadnezhad, 2022). 

In conclusion, the nursing shortage is a national healthcare issue/stressor that needs to be addressed to maintain quality patient care. The lack of financial resources is the social determinant affecting this health issue. My work setting has responded to this issue by implementing several changes, including using technology, partnerships with nursing schools, and offering tuition reimbursement. Further efforts must be made to address this issue, such as providing financial incentives for RNs and increasing awareness of nursing as a rewarding career choice.

 Shelby W

National Healthcare Issue: Medical Errors

Medical errors pose a critical challenge in healthcare systems, referring to preventable mistakes that lead to patient harm. These errors encompass a range of issues from misdiagnosis to medication errors and communication breakdowns. Such incidents can result in prolonged hospitalization, disability, or even loss of life.

Within healthcare facilities such as hospitals, medical errors exert a significant impact. They erode patient trust, compromise safety, and impose emotional and psychological burdens on healthcare providers. Medical errors can be broadly classified into two main types: errors of omission, which involve actions not taken, such as failing to secure a patient properly during transfer, and errors of commission, which result from incorrect actions taken, like administering a medication to a patient with a known allergy or failing to label a laboratory specimen, leading to misattribution (Rodziewicz et al., 2023). Professionals may encounter heightened stress and burnout while contending with the consequences of their mistakes. These errors require supplementary interventions, procedures, and treatments to address the harm, subsequently amplifying the workload. Medical practitioners and other healthcare providers might experience an array of unfavorable emotions following a medical error, encompassing feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, fear, and depression. The prevailing culture of demanding perfectionism and assigning individual blame within the medical field is believed to significantly contribute to the emergence of these detrimental outcomes (Robertson & Long, 2018).

 A major contributor to medical errors is inadequate communication and coordination. Poor information exchange among healthcare teams, patients, and providers increases the likelihood of misunderstandings. Limited access to healthcare and low health literacy can also play a role, hindering patients’ understanding of their conditions and treatment plans.

 To mitigate medical errors, healthcare systems have enacted various strategies. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have been integrated to enhance the accuracy and accessibility of patient information (Manias et al., 2020). Clinical Decision Support Systems provide real-time guidance, reducing errors rooted in knowledge gaps. Standardized protocols and checklists are employed for critical procedures, minimizing oversight. Organizations encourage error reporting to facilitate learning, while team communication training ensures effective collaboration. Patient engagement is promoted through education, fostering understanding and adherence. Root cause analysis is undertaken to delve into the factors contributing to errors, informing targeted interventions (Manias et al., 2020).

In conclusion, medical errors represent a complex and pressing issue that not only jeopardizes patient safety but also places a significant burden on the well-being of healthcare providers. By embracing technological advancements, refining procedures, and fostering better communication, healthcare systems strive to create an environment that prioritizes patient safety and continuous improvement.

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