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Addressing Nursing Shortage - Research Paper Example

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The essay pays attention to the causes of nursing shortage such as Aging population; nursing school enrollment & facutly shortage; average age of nurses; Job dissatisfaction; restriciton on work visas. The discussion also seeks to answer the question: How does shortage impacts patient outcome?…
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Addressing Nursing Shortage
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Addressing Nursing Shortage

This essay discusses that prior to 1980s healthcare was solely a physician’s concern and certain problems like cardiac malfunctions were not considered problems until after symptoms were developed. This caused a lot of financial stress on the patients when they were treated at late stages of the disease. As a result of research it was suggested that care provided before the advent of symptoms can cost far less than the care provided after symptom development. Since then the trend of “Preventive Care” that is avoidance of disease or accident before it occurs, evolved. Managed care is the current concept for running a successful healthcare system which is a pre-planned treatment of the patient. In this system patient is considered as a client whose health is continually monitored and evaluated and treated accordingly. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are examples of managed care system. This concept has entirely changed the healthcare scenario. The role of physicians and nurses has been redefined. According to World Health Organization, a commendable health care system is one which provides quality services to people in need. The components of a good health system vary from country to country, however the basic mechanisms like, adequate financing, well-trained physicians and medical staff, reliable information on which policies are made, fully-equipped facilities and delivery of quality medicine and modern technology to the patients should remain the same everywhere. The health care system of United States is one of the best systems in the world in terms of funding and modern technology usage but it is also characterized by a lack of central planning, direction and control. The system is a blend of public sector and private health providers. This system is highly decentralized and complex and on top of that costly services make it quite unaffordable for a certain population. Two major health insurance programs Medicaid and Medicare are funded by the federal government. Medicaid is funded jointly by federal government and the states and it serves the low income and poor people. While Medicare is a federal government funded two-part program that cover hospital costs and few nursing home services and physician services respectively (Nagelkerk, 2006). Despite these efforts the rising health care costs have proved to be a significant hurdle in the betterment of the system. Many problems are faced by the U.S healthcare system, a major problem being the uninsured public. According to U.S Census Bureau the number of uninsured rose to 49.9 million in 2010 from 49.0 million in 2009. Another problem which we will study is the nursing shortage. The term refers to a situation where the professional nurses’ demand exceeds the supply. The phenomenon is observed both nationally and globally and in the developed and developing countries. The shortage can be measured in terms of nurse-patient population ratio. Nursing: A Brief overview Caring for the sick and injured has been a centuries old tradition. It has evolved throughout the years from a domestic work to professional arena. Care is practiced in different ways in the world but United States has set an example for the rest of the world. Before we discuss modern care we take a look at the nursing history in the States. Nursing is an integral part of any health care system and it plays a significant part in attaining patient care outcomes. The nurses care for the patients, work in collaboration with the medical team and assess and treat the problems. The nursing work force mainly includes director of nursing (DON), registered nurses (RNs), Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nurse assistant (CNA) and other staff such as aides, orderlies and personal care attendants (Buerhaus, Auerbach, & Steiger, 2009). Following chart shows the percentage breakdown of nursing facility employees in various categories (American Health Care ... Read More
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