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Nurse shortages over the years

There are over 4.3 million registered nurses in the healthcare industry today (hospitals, nursing homes, hospice care providers and more), and even so the United States is still experiencing a decline in the availability of nurses, while demand for nurses remains incredibly high. Just recently on September 12th, 2022, over 15,000 nurses from the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) began a three-day strike. Their concern was working conditions and an overall crisis with staffing4. They’re not the only ones feeling the pressure and burn-out. Let’s talk about some other issues nurses are facing today.

Baby-Boomers are Retiring

A 2014 report shows that over 53% of nurses are over the age of 502! This points towards a massive decline in nurse availability as the older generation nears retirement. While that wouldn’t otherwise be an issue, it’s been found that nursing schools have been turning away thousands of qualified applicants due to school faculty shortages3. With limited qualified nurses available in the field and inadequate availability for students to be able to pursue nursing education, it puts pressure on current staff in the field. This brings us to our next topic.

Burn-out, Stress and Overburdened with Work

It’s no surprise that when anyone has work piled on them, they begin to feel immense burn-out. As stated by National Nurses United, “There are no federal mandates regulating the number of patients a registered nurse can care for at one time in U.S. hospitals. As a result, registered nurses (RNs) are consistently required to care for more patients than is safe, compromising patient care and negatively impacting patient outcomes.”5 With this in mind, it’s likely that nurses around the US are facing heavy nurse to patient ratios. This leads then to a cycle of suffering for the patient, and for the nurses who are doing their best to accommodate these growing healthcare crises’. Moreover, it’s been found that nurses typically spend more time working on administrative tasks such as paperwork, making phone calls, etc. instead of working with patients6.

With this information in mind, then what could a solution look like for nurses within the industry? Aside from the standard recommendations of restructuring the hospital systems to better accommodate heavy workloads and provide ample staffing, getting on the bandwagon of utilizing automized technology services could be the answer.

How BetterRX can help

For nurses within the Hospice industry, we have some relief to offer. Our technology is the only hospice-specific ePrescribe platform that is made for the hospice workflow, and it has been proven to save nurses 5-10 hours weekly. With BetterRX, nurses can electronically order every medication and route the medication from all stages of the order, approval, signature and then fulfillment and delivery from the pharmacy all without a single phone call.

BetterRX eliminates the phone calls, which in turn reduces a lot of the standard paperwork and administrative tasks of managing medications through calls with the pharmacy. Nurses who use BetterRX have said it improves their work/life balance which allows them to enjoy time with their families. Suzanne, RN states, “BetterRX is a real godsend for nurses in the field. Being able to order meds from a patient’s home, keep track of all orders, and do everything from our phones is so nice!”

We’re here to make comfort better. Give us a call today to learn more!

 

Sources

1 https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/workforce/

2https://www.nursingworld.org/~4afac8/globalassets/practiceandpolicy/workforce/fastfacts_nsgjobgrowth-salaries_updated8-25-15.pdf
3https://www.aacnnursing.org/Portals/42/News/Factsheets/Nursing-Shortage-Factsheet.pdf

4 https://nursejournal.org/articles/minnesota-nurses-strike-2022/

5https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/sites/default/files/nnu/documents/0421_Ratios_Federal_FactSheet.pdf

6 https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/blog/health-care-blog/2021/why-are-nurses-leaving-and-what-can-hospitals-do.html

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