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The Canadian health care has some major challenges that do not let it function as well as it could be, some of these challenges include: hallway medicine, shortage of nurses, not enough funding, and wait times, but the challenge that needs to be addressed and fixed immediately is the shortage of nurses. There was a report that stated in 2007 there was a shortage equivalent to 11,000 full time nurses and it has been predicted by the year 2022 that number will jump up to approximately 60,000 full time nurses, if this is not addressed then that prediction will come true and the healthcare will be at serious risk. The shortage of nurses is a big problem because of the following reasons: nurses must work longer hours and become mentally and physically burnt out causing job dissatisfaction, injury, and fatigue, which cause nurses to be more prone to making mistakes and medical errors. This can greatly affect the quality of patient care and cause some problems that can be easily preventble such as: long emergency room wait times, medication mix ups, and unfortunately mortality rates go up. the nursing shortage does not only affect hospitals, but it also affects nursing homes, long term care, home care, and clinics. There is a group of researchers that came up with six strategies to solve the nurse shortage problems in approximately 15 years.
“The first three scenarios focus on the workplace. Improving productivity and retention … the last three scenarios focus on nursing students”. The first possible solution would be changing the workplace so that the nurses don’t work more but more efficiently so that they can get more work done and help patients better without physically and emotionally burning themselves out because of the shortage, this can be achieved by adding more non-nursing staff to do things that do not qualify the certain degrees a nurse does, for example any kind of bathing for the patients or bringing them food, giving the nurses less responsibilities and more time to focus on the patients and being able to help them to full extent for the best patient experience and better time management to help cut down wait times and preventable errors. Another possible solution would be to raise the exit rates for retiring nurses to help with the shortage of nurses, an increase in retiring nurses would increase the shortage so by decreasing the number of retiring nurses it will give a head start to end the shortage of nurses. Cutting down the amount of time nurses miss work would also help to stop the nursing shortage because if we add up all the days every nurse does not miss then that can be added up to roughly “7000 full time nurses”.
A solution that can fix the shortage of nurses by accepting more nursing students into the field and getting them a job right out of post secondary school, this will help end the shortage because more students will be entering the field than nurses retiring and more high school students will start choosing this career pathway when they realize that people are getting a job right after they are done school, this will be an incentive to bring more nurses into the field. More students can be brought in by lowering the grade to go into the nursing course and accepting more students and having a larger cut off instead of only a select few, there would be a debate with lowering the entry grade point average to go into nursing because others may believe that just anyone can go into the field, but to counter that, only decrease the entry to nursing but increase the passing GPA slightly so although more students go into the field there will still be knowledgeable students being put out and put into placement. Another solution that could help end the shortage of nurses is to increase the wage to give more incentive to students to think about going into the field, there is also a stigmatism that nursing is only for females that stop some males joining the field, if this stigmatism can be diminished then more males will apply and go to school to be nurses helping the nursing shortage by a large margin.
The shortage of nurses is a major problem in the Canadian healthcare system, and it needs to be solved so that the healthcare system can work at its full potential and the patients can get the best help that they can get. If the nursing shortage is fixed, then nurses will not be as prone to making mistakes and medical errors that could cause mortality rates to rise. The nursing shortage makes nursing sound undesirable with all the media coverage explaining how nurses are burning themselves out and it is not appealing to the youth causing fewer and fewer students trying out for the job. But if more students had a reason to go into nursing then the job would be desirable, and nurses would like to go to work and helping patients giving them the best care that they deserve. If this health care challenge does not get dealt with immediately then the shortage of nurses will grow and grow until it is impossible to fix, and health care is unbearable and mortality rates for Canada will be at its all time high because patients can not get help in time because there is too many patients and not enough nurses. Fixing the workplace of nurses and bringing in more students will help solve the issue within the next 15 years if the government starts fixing this now.
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