There are significant challenges facing the healthcare system in the 21st century. This trend calls for health professionals to be prepared and positioned to handle an upcoming crisis. From my point of view, I think workforce shortage and discontent is a major concern in healthcare. Realization of this challenge places me at a better position to initiate a difference that may be hard fought but yet attainable.
In the previous years, there has been a popular trend of oversupply of patients and undersupply of healthcare personnel. However, the current shortage is alarming and many experts predict that this problem may persist for some unknown time. In 2012, the percentage shortage of nurses was estimated at 6.8, with approximately 1.9 million registered nurses. During this time, the projected demand was at 2.2 million. The shortage would skyrocket to 30 percent by 2025 (American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) 37). Further, the fraction of students enrolling in healthcare is still insufficient to meet the demand of patients in the next 10 years (American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) 99). The shortage of enrolling students is exacerbated by the increasing shortage of the nursing faculty. In addition, there is an inadequate number of students pursuing doctorate or masters levels and many of them are unwilling to further their studies.
A survey carried out in 2015 also indicates that nurses are increasingly dissatisfied with their work. The survey found out that 45 percent of nurses working in healthcare centers were not satisfied with their work. Further, 2 in 4 hospital nurses with an age bracket of 25 to 30 years had intentions to quit their current job (Health Resources and Services Administration 67). The survey further indicated that some of the common sources of dissatisfaction include; inadequate staffing, huge workloads, low pay and higher number of working hours. There have been negative consequences of dissatisfaction from healthcare professionals. Consequently, patient safety has been compromised and this has led to adverse health outcomes. In fact, some patients have died due to burnout and frustration among health professionals. Patient care has continued to fragment and if these issues are not addressed, they are a ticking time bomb (Bulletin of the Association of American Colleges 105). Thus, workforce issues in the healthcare setting should be addressed to improve quality of care.
The Department of Health and Human Service has consistently stated that there is also a shortage of pharmacy services in recent years. Some of the reasons mentioned for the shortage include; limited use of technology and poor work design. However, it has not been determined whether the shortage in pharmacy services will be long term or short term. Nevertheless, this calls for an immediate response because the workforce in healthcare has been increasingly declining when compared to the demand.
My entry into the nursing profession could address the issue in a number of ways. First, my enrollment to the profession is beginning point of making an impact. Since there a drastic shortage of healthcare workforce, I will add to the bulk of nurses who are to be engaged in the future health care facilities in the next four or five years. I also understand that making a significant impact would require a transformational leadership in response to the mentioned challenge. As such, I intend to focus on furthering my studies and attaining a standard to be part of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. In such a platform I will be able to articulate for a reform that targets health care professionals’ workforce and job satisfaction. I view myself as a nurse who will have the capacity and responsibility to influence the mentioned challenge in healthcare. Consequently, I will make use of the existing policies as a driving for a change. For instance, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing promotes active participation and I will take advantage of this fact to recommend for reforms in the education system that seeks to create more training facilities to boost work force. Further, I will recommend for nursing leadership to ensure development of skills to tackle quality of care which is an issue of concern in healthcare. With a proper motivation and insight, I believe the healthcare setting can take a different path and the mentioned challenge can be mitigated before it gets out of hand.
In conclusion, healthcare is a sensitive disciple and as I anticipate enrolling in this course, my focus is to deal with some of the pressing issues that have not been given much attention. Specifically, the workforce in the healthcare has been strained and this automatically leads to compromised care. As a nurse I will strive to make an impact by addressing the underlying challenges through proper channels. Nursing organizations are best avenues for initiating a change through policies that can be adopted in all health centers. The workforce and corresponding quality issues can be dealt with by embracing a transformational leadership which can be passed on from one nurse to another. Quality of care should be given a priority at all levels in the nursing context.
“The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Homepage.” American Association of Colleges of Nursing: The Voice of Academic Nursing, 23 June 2015, www.aacn.nche.edu/Media/NewsReleases/enrl01.htm.
Health Resources and Services Administration. Washington, D.C.?: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, 2013. Print.
Bulletin of the Association of American Colleges. Lancaster, Pa: The Association, 2016. Print.