The national healthcare stressor that I selected for analysis is the Covid-
9 Pandemic and the additional stress it adds to the supply chain and the well-being of healthcare workers. The current state of healthcare has been severely impacted by the pandemic.
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads worldwide, the effect on global healthcare systems has been immense. One of the key challenges in managing this public health crisis has been the production and distribution of medical supplies to healthcare providers. (Iyengar et al, 2020). My hospital has been greatly affected. We are short on supplies every day that I come to work. It makes it difficult to do the tasks that I need to complete and has a negative impact on patient care.
The supply shortage is one of the reasons that healthcare providers are struggling with their mental health. The rapid spread of the disease created challenges for healthcare systems and forced healthcare workers to struggle with stressors, including shortages of personal protective equipment, mortality and morbidity associated with COVID-19, fear of bringing the virus home to family members, and the reality of losing colleagues to the disease. Evidence from previous outbreaks, along with early evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic, suggests that these events have significant short- and long-term effects on the mental health of healthcare workers. (Hall, H, 2020) In my ER alone, we have had several staff members resign stating lack of supplies or the impact that Covid has had on their mental health as the main reason for leaving.
My Health system has responded to these stressors by offering overtime and hiring agency nurses to fill in while we acquire permanent staff to train and by ordering more supplies than needed when they are needed so that we have a backstock to pull from when the supply chain gets backlogged. These solutions are working at this time, although we continue to be short staffed and running out of supplies each day. The Hospital is trying to make the best of the situation the pandemic has brought forth, but we continue to lose nurses and available supplies regularly.
With change such as a pandemic, new technology or innovation there are implications, some foreseeable and some that come to light after the unveiling of the new process or product. Some impacts that are most notable are clinical, managerial, and policy implications. (Sweeney, J, 2017) The pandemic has brought to light the need for change in the healthcare field and I believe that nurses are embracing this by choosing career change, leadership roles and speaking out for their rights.
Hall, Heather MBA, MA, MPAS, PA-C The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare
workers’ mental health, Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants: July 2020 – Volume 33 – Issue 7 – p 45-48
Iyengar, K. P., Vaisha, R., & Bahl, S. (2020). Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the Supply Chain in Healthcare. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.12968/bjhc.2020.0047
Sweeney, J. (Feb, 2017). Healthcare Informatics. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 21( 1), Available at
The national Healthcare issue I chose was burnout/understaffing among nurses. It is probably common knowledge to everyone that has a family member/girlfriend/boyfriend in the medical field that is in nursing understands the draining duties of the job. Obviously, with COVID-19 it took this issue to a whole new level. There is ample evidence that adequate nurse staffing is associated with positive patient outcomes, including lower mortality, fewer complications, higher patient satisfaction, shorter hospital stays and fewer readmissions, as well as better outcomes for nurses, such as less burnout (Lasater et al., 2020). Burnout is at an all-time high causing huge staffing problems among hospitals in the country. Burnout is a significant problem among US nurses who leave their job or consider leaving their job. Health systems should focus on implementing known strategies to alleviate burnout, including adequate nurse staffing and limiting the number of hours worked per shift (Shah et al., 2021).
Burnout/understaffing will impact and has impacted our work setting by increasing the stress of the needs of a nurse in our day-to-day duties on the job. We are always understaffed and “flexed” each shift. Our rations are not safe and sometimes we don’t even have a patient care technician when we are staffed 5:1 with our patients. The nurse-patient ratio is a direct determinate of the effects of psychological, mental, emotional health and nurse productivity in the workplace which also determines the patients’ overall health (Gutsan et al., 2018). This also causes conflicts with the nurses and patients because the patients get upset when nurses don’t get to them fast enough which causes tension because the patient and nurse. When a unit or hospital is understaffed due to people being sick or calling in because they don’t want to be there causes an increased amount of stress and anxiety on the people that are there.
The Healthcare system that I am involved with has tried some things to help with these problems. Including seminars on reflection and restoration to help with burnout and coping upon nurses with 1-2 years of experience. This will help a lot of people including me. Also, the hospital has initiated incentive pay among Registered Nurses for overtime duty. These things have helped but still the lack of staffing is one of the most draining problems to deal with. I personally feel as if more can be done. We need medical professionals, especially in these times. We need medical professionals to feel accepted and appreciated. So, much more work needs to be done but things are started to change slowly but surely.
Gutsan, E., Patton, J., Willis, W. K., & PH, C. D. (2018). Burnout syndrome and nurse-to-patient ratio in the workplace.
Lasater KB, Aiken LH, Sloane DM, French R, Martin B, Reneau K, et al. (2020). Chronic hospital nurse understaffing meets COVID-19: an observational study. BMJ Qual Saf bmjqs-2020-011512. DOI: 10.1136/bmjqs-2020-011512.
Shah, M. K., Gandrakota, N., Cimiotti, J. P., Ghose, N., Moore, M., & Ali, M. K. (2021). Prevalence of and factors associated with nurse burnout in the US. JAMA network open, 4(2), e2036469-e2036469.
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