A lot has changed since COVID hit the world three years ago -and we’re still not clear how and when the pandemic will end. It has impacted people’s lives, livelihood, and general health. While it has affected all sectors of the population, healthcare workers were among the worst hit. Burnout, depression, and trauma have become a massive problem among doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.
It’s not just work-related exhaustion that’s worrying them – one of their biggest fears is spreading the infection to loved ones, especially those with a compromised immune system. Those who have lost loved ones to COVID have to deal with survivor’s guilt. There’s also the urge to get angry at people who don’t follow safety measures and limit the spread of infection.
This has caused a mass exodus, with a record number of healthcare workers quitting their profession altogether. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that more than half a million healthcare workers have left their jobs since the pandemic began. Around 31% of healthcare staff have thoughts about leaving their employer, claims another report by Morning Consult, a survey research company.
With healthcare workers leaving en masse, another practical problem is keeping stakeholders awake at night – staff shortage affecting patient care and patient safety.
There’s a direct correlation between patient mortality and staff shortage –research found that an increase of just one full-time Registered Nurse for 1000 patients ensured a 4.3% decline in the death rate among patients. Lack of nurses causes overcrowding in emergency departments, causing added hospitalization, permanent disability, or even death. Overcrowding also overwhelms physicians, making them more likely to commit errors.
Shortage of nursing staff increases patient wait time during the consultation. It also increases their chances of making medication errors like infusing medicines at the wrong rate, giving the wrong medicine, or mixing medications between patients – all of these can have fatal consequences on patients.
While there’s little data to measure precisely how staff shortages affect patient care, a CDC report that found healthcare-associated infections increased significantly in 2020 after years of steady decline.
It takes time for hospitals to find the right staff and, more importantly, look for ways to retain them. It is important to hire healthcare staff who are in for the long term. And that is why at PX3, we work hard to develop a long-term relationship with clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations to understand their requirements in minute detail.
At PX3, we’re here to find you the executive staff who can not only combat a virus but also change the way things are done. We know continuity is the key to quality healthcare and hence look for candidates who are willing to commit for 3+ years. This ensures that your patients have the assurance of meeting the same professional.