While most of us are sitting down surrounded by family and friends this Thanksgiving, thousands of nurses will be working and surrounded by more patients than they can reasonably accommodate. The life of a nurse isn’t easy. Injury and disease don’t take holidays so nurses can’t either. Before we dive into our turkey and pass the cranberry sauce, it’s important we stop and acknowledge a demographic that provides roughly 90 percent of the world’s healthcare. Because unfortunately, conditions for nurses could use a massive upgrade.
Many people do not understand what nurses endure in a typical hospital setting. The reality is most hospitals are dramatically understaffed.
This results in unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios, which has historically led to bad patient outcomes. Furthermore, these conditions are taking a toll on nurses like you, resulting in nurse burnout on a large scale, especially in the Emergency Room.
On top of that, many full-time registered nurses are dealing with these conditions and underwhelming pay. According to a recent nurse salary report facilitated by Medscape, just 53 percent of responding RN’s (over 8 thousand) were satisfied with their pay.
Nurses like these, like you, need help. Whether legislatively or internally, by facility, there needs to be sweeping changes. Nurses need better staffing levels and better, more accommodating conditions because the current chaotic climate is driving nurses away. In the midst of a national nursing shortage, that’s the last thing the country needs.
Until there are universal changes implemented across the country, nurses must decide what opportunities are best for them and where they feel they will be best appreciated. There are other options. Because of the national nursing shortage, the demand for nurses is unprecedented and virtually everywhere. You don’t have to work for just one hospital when every hospital is looking for nursing talent.
According to industry analysts, the demand for travel nurses has reached a 20-year high. For those in search of a less stressful environment, it is worth noting that travel nurses experience greater job satisfaction. That same Medscape study also illustrated that traveling nurses are paid more on average than their full-time peers.
This Thanksgiving, we’ll be sure to include nurses while giving thanks at our table. If anything goes wrong today, or if we find the courage to finally try the cranberry sauce, we’re thankful you’ll be there.