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Nursing News in Utah | Healthcare Staffing Shortages Addressed

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) in Utah have been declining in numbers for an extended period, stretching decades even before the pandemic. In addition to the ongoing nursing shortage, the pandemic made the number of nursing staff able to provide quality care in health care facilities even smaller.

The pandemic has affected the whole world and the whole country. But one of the hardest hit sectors, without a doubt, is the healthcare sector, and Utah is no exception. Nurses are the lifeblood of hospitals and health care facilities, spending the most time with patients and attending to their needs. The nursing profession requires time, care, and attention in order for patients to receive quality care, and over the past few years, nurses have found that they are unable to fully provide this care to patients and are also suffering from burnout and extreme fatigue due to the number of patients who have required hospitalization or medical attention.

It is important to emphasize that many nurses have felt that they can no longer cope with the current situation and have given up their profession or the way they work because of their low pay. The pandemic has brought a massive wave of people to care for daily and many deaths and added risks to the profession, including the risk of violence from patients. 

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Nurse Safety in Utah 

Nurse safety and patient safety are essential. Nurses must have some screening to ensure their patients will avoid violence (mistreatment, yelling, psychological, physical, or sexual assault). Safety in the workplace is paramount, and for nurses, this is no exception, as they need to have the peace of mind that they will be able to report this violence if it happens, prevent it at best, and, if necessary, punish the aggressor for the nurses’ peace of mind.

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With nurses in Utah and across the country being the first caregivers, it can often happen that patients lose control of them, but it should not be part of the nurses’ job to monitor and restrain their patients or to put up with any kind of abuse. This situation, coupled with low pay for Utah nurses and insufficient appreciation of their staff, has contributed to an unprecedented shortage of nurses in Utah.

Nurses are lobbying in D.C. to pressure authorities to pass laws to prevent violence against nurses as soon as possible so that nurses can work safely and with peace of mind. 

Nursing School and Education in Utah 

The nurse-to-patient ratio has decreased tremendously, leaving far more patients per nurse than there should be. One of the strategies adopted in Utah to return to a safe nurse-to-patient ratio is to train new nurses at the UT medical center and to partner with different schools to create programs that will encourage more students to choose nursing as a career choice.

Patient safety must increase again, and much of patient safety is linked to nurses being at their alert and mentally healthy best, happy with their pay and low stress on the job, making use of their abilities, and being intellectually challenged and trained. Therefore, the UT medical center started early career development for nursing students, paired with a secure job during and after graduation. They have also created partnerships that financially support nursing students.

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Nurses do more than they can to care for so many patients, but it is only human to give up when they see so much suffering and need beyond their control. In this way, Utah wants to normalize nurse staffing ratios that have been spreading the fear of many patients to seek medical care even when they need it urgently, as many hospitals have closed their doors or have had to ignore patients for longer than desired, taking a toll on morale and the quality of care they want to provide. The projection is that more nurses will be educated through the policies implemented. In a short time, there will be many nurses and future nurses working side by side to return to the excellent care that is so necessary for the times we are living in.Nursa hopes to support the institutions in Utah through the app and that more nurses will be trained in the wonderful work of nursing. The Nursa team wants nurses to be able to work safely, with good pay and enough support.

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