Posted February 09, 2019 06:59:59 A shortage of doctors and nurses is causing health workers in Texas to make difficult decisions about how to spend their time.
Key points:A shortage of medical care in Texas is costing patients $3 billion a yearMore than 200,000 Texas nurses are in urgent care, which is a critical roleThey are facing a number of challenges including finding skilled doctorsThe situation has created a strain on hospitals that are trying to recruit and retain the best medical staff.
The state’s nurses are also facing a range of problems, including a lack of training for nurses in key areas of health care, and a growing number of emergency room visits for people with chronic illnesses.
“We are seeing more than 200 nurses in emergency room because they don’t have the skills or training to do the job that they’re being hired to do,” said Michelle DeBolt, who heads the Texas Nurse’s Health Association.
She says the shortage has created an intense stress in the system.
“There are more nurses being treated than there are beds available in our emergency room,” she said.
“What we are seeing is a number and a combination of things: a higher need for nurses; we are having to pay higher costs for nurses, we are spending more money to train them, and we are losing our doctors.”
The problem with nursing and medical education is that it is not an area where most hospitals are really focused.
“We have very few nurses in hospitals, so the nurses that are trained in that area are doing more than what they should be doing,” Ms DeBolts said.
The issue is compounded by the high cost of health services, particularly healthcare for the elderly and people with disabilities.
The shortage of nurses has led to the hospital and medical supply chain to struggle, Ms De Bolt said.
A shortage in nurses and medical supplies has forced hospitals to shift to other, more flexible areas of their operations, such as nursing and other health care support.
The problem is compounded when there is a shortage of skilled doctors.
“When you have a shortage in healthcare, there are fewer people in the community that are qualified to practice medicine,” she added.
“It makes it more difficult to recruit people into our community.”
The health department is trying to improve its staffing, but it is only one part of the problem.
The Texas Nurse`s Health Association also is calling on the state to consider funding a statewide pilot program to train nursing and health care workers.
The National Association of Nurses has also expressed concern about the shortage of physicians and nurses in Texas, saying the shortage creates an unfair playing field.
“As the state becomes more populated, more people have a need for health care and that creates a shortage for those who have that need,” Ms Bolt says.
“For example, people with a heart condition have an increased need for care.”
But the association says it is working to solve the problem, and is working with the state on a pilot program that would train nursing professionals in the state.