In an issue that has only grown more prevalent over time, the entire medical industry suffers from a lack of personnel, leading to understaffing in almost every establishment.
Unfortunately, this also includes nursing homes and assisted living facilities, along with other long-term care facilities.
The cycle of nurse staff overworking
The New York Times examines the trials and struggles that nursing professions face across the board. In short, not enough people want to stay in the nursing field. Because of that, there are simply not enough people to meet the demands of a sick and aging population. Nurses who stay in the field must take on enormous workloads and extreme working hours, which perpetuates a cycle of burnout and quitting.
It also creates a unique danger in the form of negligence related to exhaustion. Basically, nurses who get overworked at locations with an understaffing problem simply do not have the mental capacity to give their job 100 percent of their time, energy and attention. In turn, this easily leads to mistakes that could have otherwise been avoided if the staff member had proper rest and was not working grueling hours.
How patients and residents suffer
Unfortunately, this means that the people suffering are often members of the nursing home or medical facility. For example, an exhausted nurse may forget to check on someone after an operation to ensure they have an adequate supply of pain medication. They may even mix up the medication of two patients, leading to untreated illness or adverse affects. As the issue of understaffing grows, so too does this form of neglect.