Health workers have been experiencing a lot of struggles and stress within the workplace for as long as you can remember. There are many issues in the workplace when it comes to organization and communication between colleagues. Currently, there is an issue of too many patients compared to the number of staff available due to the pandemic. However, this issue of being understaffed is not new, nor is it unique to the pandemic scenario. Let’s dive into the reasons behind these worker shortages that have been rampant through the healthcare industry for decades.
Shortages of Nurses
Healthcare has always been subjected to trends in oversupply and undersupply of various medical professionals such as physicians and nurses, but the current shortage of nurses is different, many experts are saying it will not be resolved quickly within the next decade to come.
There has always been an issue about the number of nurses in the industry to care for patients in need. It all stems from the fact that there are not enough nurses currently training to become part of the workforce needed to take care of the increasing number of patients. One reason for the increase of patients is due to more people becoming educated about the healthcare they can receive, and thus are approaching hospitals to receive said healthcare that they need. An aging population is also to blame for the increase of patients.
However, there is also another reason as to why there is a shortage of nurses in the industry. It is simply the fact that many nurses change professions only after a few years into their careers, leaving an unfillable hole in the workforce.
Lack of Infrastructure
Within the healthcare industry, there have always been issues regarding patient accommodation. The accommodation issue is not easily seen as a result of the lack of medical professionals such as physicians and nurses, but more of a lack of space in hospitals to treat the patients.
This lack of hospital space has been a constant issue with the healthcare industry. There has simply never been enough hospitals established in order to fully take on the demand of the public to receive valuable healthcare from medical professionals. This in turn also means there are not enough beds within hospitals to take care of all of their patients, leading to the practice of hallway healthcare. Hallway healthcare is a term used when patients are waiting for a hospital bed in an unconventional or unexpected location, like a hospital hallway for example.
There needs to be more hospitals built not just in Canada, but worldwide. As a result of this lack of hospitals for people to use whenever they need assistance or professional medical help, there are many people that cannot receive the care they need. This need for more hospitals was further reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shortage of Materials
There are times that both physicians and nurse practitioners are putting themselves in grave danger by being in close proximity with their infected patients. This was especially made true by the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic had started just a year ago. They needed all the PPE they could get in order to safely stay in close proximity to their patients when taking care of them.
However, there is one issue regarding PPEs that doctors and nurses need in order to approach their patients safely, and there was simply not enough supply for all of them to use. Luckily this issue waned a bit as the pandemic went on.
Not only has there been a shortage of healthcare workers in general since the start of this pandemic, but only during the pandemic are we seeing other problems arise that weren’t there before. A lack of PPEs is a troubling reality that nurses and physicians have to face on an everyday basis now.
In short, despite there being a shortage in the number of medical professionals in the workforce, there is also a shortage of materials needed by those medical professionals to safely provide care for their patients.
The world right now needs more healthcare workers than ever in order to take care of patients in dire situations. However, there is a huge shortage when it comes to their numbers, the hospitals they can work in, and in the materials they need to use in order to treat their patients.