Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing
Nursing home facilities are currently experiencing a significant lack of nurses that is contributing to many nursing homes closing their doors permanently. Combined with the fact that many nursing facilities are operating at a -4.8% margin each year, 25% of nursing homes are expected to close within the next year. In total, 400 certified US nursing homes are on the brink of shutting down due to financial burden as well as the severe lack of nurses.
It is not only nursing homes that are feeling the pressure of low staff right now. 89% of healthcare organizations are experiencing a staffing shortage in the wake of the pandemic. Since January 2020 roughly 236,000 caregivers have left the workforce. Those caregivers make up 15% of the total nursing home workforce leaving these facilities scrambling to fill positions.
Many caregivers left the workforce due to feelings of increased stress, frustration, and exhaustion. As more nurses left, the stress only built for the remaining workforce leading to more and more caregivers leaving the field. Along with increased stress, more than 1 in 4 nurses have experienced increased incivility and bullying from administrators, managers, supervisors and other nursing staff. This increased hostility in the workplace along with the additional stress from the pandemic can lead to nurses skipping simple practices like washing their hands or properly using PPE.
When caregivers and nurses skip simple practices such as these, the rates of infection in nursing facilities can skyrocket. 1 to 3 million serious infections occur every year in skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes, which is why personal hygiene and safety practices are even more important. Respiratory, skin, and soft tissue infections along with stomach issues and influenza are some of the most common diseases that are spread in nursing homes, and all can be prevented to some extent with proper sanitation policies and practices.
To ensure that infection rates stay low in assisted care facilities, nurses need to be taking proper precautions through proper infection control. The additional stress of a lack of help is what is leading to some of these practices falling to the side, and so bringing caregivers back to the field can be the easiest way to prevent this problem. Adding more nurses to facilities can also help prevent more from closing in the future, fixing two very serious problems we are facing in skilled nursing homes. To learn more about how to solve the issues with staff shortages in the healthcare field, take a look at the infographic below:
About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on Linked