Workers in some of the most important fields to our communities are being pushed to the breaking point by labor shortages. According to the Ohio Nurse’s Association, the situation for nursing has reached “code red.”
Thousands have left the field, and as those gaps increase the pressure (and workload) on those who remain, some of them are at the breaking point and choosing to quit as well.
“Staff do not feel supported, emotionally or financially to continue to work in these deplorable conditions,” Catherine Henderson a registered nurse at Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital, told WHIO.
According to WHIO, Kettering Health lists 350 registered nurse openings in the Miami Valley alone. That is, of course affecting patient care.
What is the solution?
Rob Weitzel, RN, president of Ohio Nurses Association told WHIO “code red” means focusing on five points: safe staffing, working conditions, attracting and training bedside nurses and dignity across the industry.
“Nurses are suffering and patients are suffering at the end of the day, every single time and unless we start to push and push this code red initiative, things are not going to change,” Weitzel said.
While it is easy to understand the sense of urgency that fuels such a statement, there is a whole lot of “what” in the code red points without much “how.” Thousands of fully trained and available nurses are not going to drop from the sky. The ONA, nursing education programs across the state and health systems must develop concrete steps lawmakers and employers can consider.
The problem is clear. We’re past that point. Let’s get to work on the solutions.