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Nursing Shortage, An Overview

By Edited Jan 18, 2016 1 0

While in other developing countries such as the Philippines in which hundred thousands of registered nurses are either unemployed or underemployed, America, European and Middle East countries suffer from nursing shortage.


Nurses are the primary health work force in hospitals and community health clinics along with physicians. Nurses carry out different responsibilities in these areas which are vital to human functioning particularly health promotion and disease prevention.


Without nurses, one can expect the worst scenario. No one would attend to sick and ill people at the emergency room. The doctor will carry out his own orders. Sick people would be left out without proper guidance and care because none would assess and report significant findings from a distress patient.


The worse case right now is probably the shortage of nurses in different areas of the globe. This is a grim reality happening to affluent countries such as US, UK and Saudi Arabia. Due to stricter immigration policies and longer hospital experience (preferably 1-2 years), aspiring Asian nurses particularly Filipino nurses see this as a very very bad news. 


Taken for example in US, in which working visas and petitions from hospital employers are not available as of the moment due to regression. In effect, US hospitals suffer because they lack the needed manpower to mobilize tasks. American nurses at the age of 50-60 will soon retired. According to American Nurses Association, some 500-800 thousand American nurses will soon end up their nursing career from 2015 onwards. Young American nurses on the other hand complain of patient overload. The ideal ratio of 1 nurse is to three patient becomes 1 is to 5 or 1 is to 7. 


The effect of patient overload in nurses is always a lose-lose situation. Nurses become prone to errors. They will lack focus on patients. They will also burn up from stress and tiredness. Thus, the much desired focus care and assessment will be forgotten. 


In the end, no one knows if this will still be the trend in the next few years. If health care reform gets approval from the congress, more nurses and doctors will be needed. Other countries need nurses as well in the coming future. 


It is still the health of humanity that we are taking care of. And nurses play a very big role in this spot. Even at the advent of technology, robots cannot still replace the affectionate touch, the warm embrace and the great communication skills of nurses. The government must act now.

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