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The effects of budget cut on nurse-staffing and the quality of care in hospitals - Essay Example

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This crisis is prompting various adjustments in the health care delivery system, adjustments which translate to budget cuts and other health economic plans like health…
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The effects of budget cut on nurse-staffing and the quality of care in hospitals

Due to the protracted and still lingering economic crisis, legislators and other administrators have implemented budget cuts in the health care sector. These budget cuts have affected all aspects of health delivery, from staffing ratios, salaries of staff, to the purchase of equipment and hospital supplies. In terms of nursing staff, budget cuts have translated to fewer nurses being hired and lower pay for nurses hired; it also translates to nurses caring for an overwhelming number of patients – more than they can safely and adequately care for. The application of financial management the resolution of the health care issue in this case has gone through the stages of planning, controlling, organizing, and finally decision-making (Baker and Baker, 2011). It is unfortunate to note how the health financing process has resulted to budget cuts in health care and in this case, in the nursing profession.
Inadequate nursing staff caring for an overwhelming number of patients is one of the major contributory factors to nursing burnout, and such burnout often leads to medical errors in the practice. There seems to be an agreed consensus on the relationship between nurse staffing and improved patient outcomes. In other words, with higher patient staffing levels, better patient outcomes seem to be more apparent (Garrett, 2008). The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality sets forth that nursing burnout can often compromise health care services. Chronic fatigue, as well as limited sleep and lack of rested sleep are common issues among nurses and other health personnel. In the documented case of Julie Thao, accounts reveal that she worked two 16 hour shifts back to back and at one point fell asleep at a hospital cot. Upon awaking, she administered the wrong medicine to a patient. Unfortunately, this led to her patient’s death (Garrett, 2008). She pled no contest to criminal neglect and was sent to jail for such ... Read More
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