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Too Many Patients, Not Enough Staff: The Poor State of Hospitals

When we are poorly, need medical help, have to have a procedure or are taken ill unexpectedly, the hospital is the place where we seek solace and the best care until we are back to full health.

Hospitals are designed to care for us when we are at our most vulnerable and provide us with the upmost medical care. The staff and hospitals have a responsibility to ensure our medical needs are fulfilled and that we are able to live a normal life, even if medical conditions are a constant consideration.

Nurses, in particular, are responsible for carrying out the smaller procedures that we need should a hospital stay be necessary. Catheters, the giving of medicines, regular check ups and care and support are all a part of the nurses everyday job and with so many patients this can be a challenge especially when there is such a shortage in nursing staff.

For many years, hospitals have come under scrutiny for the way patients are treated, the care that is given and the way in which hospitals are run. Understaffing is a very real issue and something, which shows little sign of being turned around. Fewer people are choosing to become nurses; hospital budgets are reduced which allows for lower staff levels and this is having a direct impact on the patients.

Nurses and doctors are required to work long hours, be responsible for a large amount of patients and all for low pay, and little appreciation. The task of being in the medical profession is not an easy one and it is emotionally and physically tiring for those that choose the profession as a career. Nurses are often negatively represented and blamed for things that are out of their control. There is little they can do in terms of staff shortages and often they are stretched to a limit that means mistakes happen and things are overlooked. For the safety of the patients and the well being of the staff, the shortages need to be resolved and larger financial aid needs to be given to hospitals and medical centres to ensure patient care is at its very best.

Every year the number of people admitted to hospitals rises and the standard of care that they receive sadly decreases. There are now a higher number of legal cases brought by disgruntled patients, this not only affects the reputation of the hospital and reduces staff morale but requires the finances to resolve cases of medical malpractice, finances that are already stretched to their very limit.

There seems to be no simple solution to the problems, which go on within hospitals. The biggest problem seems to be with regards to finances or a lack of and this is not something, which can be changed over night. The economic recession has had a heavy impact on the world as a whole and cut backs have been a necessity within every sector and industry. Employment has been the biggest sacrifice as unemployment levels continue to rise as companies and industries attempt to save as much money as possible. The main cause of concern within hospitals is the standard of patient care, everyone that has a need for medical attention should be given just that and at the high standard that has always been given before.

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