Layoffs in Hospitals Can Affect Patient Care

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Layoffs in Hospitals can affect patients care.
Teresa Carlos
August 26, 2013

Layoffs in Hospitals can affect patient care.
Today’s expanded healthcare environment requires nurses to provide high quality care to achieve best patient outcomes and satisfaction, but also the healthcare system is required to reduce costs provided on healthcare at the same time. One of the ways to reduce cost in hospitals is to layoff the personnel; RN’s, LPN’s, UAP’s, and transporters. “Nurses are experiencing higher workloads than ever before due to (…) reduced staffing and increased overtime” (Carayon & Gurses, 2008, p.1), and that may negatively lead to issues with patient safety and nursing job satisfaction. “The healthcare sector saw the biggest layoffs, cutting 6,843 employees, the largest monthly amount for the sector since November 2009”(Planned layoffs drop in July; defense health care suffer, Aug 2013), so let’s think how it might affect the nurses left alone with more work without assistive personnel. Numerous nursing tasks need to be performed during a shift and now they are also “expected to perform nonprofessional tasks such as delivering and retrieving food trays; housekeeping duties; transporting patients; and ordering, coordinating; or to performing ancillary services” (Carayon & Gurses, 2008, p.1). Instead of spending the time on the care of patients the nurse has to perform duties unbound with her professional duties. The shift has only 12 hours and the nurse has to evaluate those patients, take vital signs, give medications, draw blood, complete documentation, and they also needs a break. Heavy workload is one of the stressors in the nursing world and can lead to distress and burnout “Nurses experiencing stress and burnout may not be able to perform efficiently and effectively because their physical and cognitive resources may be reduced; this suboptimal performance may affect patient care and its safety” (Carayon & Gurses, 2008, p. 4)....
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