Nursing, teaching shortages have similar origins

Nurses and public-school teachers have a lot in common. The most crucial connection is THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH OF US! The pandemic has worsened a long-standing national shortage of nurses and rural communities face the greatest challenges. South Carolina ranks third in the nation for the greatest shortage of nurses. Another national measure we need to change!

It does not matter how many beds your hospital has if there are not enough nurses to provide patient care. People become inpatients because they need nursing care and studies show that having more nurses in a facility improves patient outcomes. There is less morbidity and mortality, especially if the nurses are bachelor’s prepared.

What has contributed to this particular nursing shortage crisis? Some of the same factors that impact teaching. Burnout has prompted many nurses to retire early or leave the profession completely. Heavy patient loads and not being able to provide the care that their patients deserve leaves nurses frustrated and worried. Inflexibility with work schedules and long shift hours contribute to dissatisfaction and lack of work-life balance. Care at the end of a 12-hour shift is not of the quality that one would hope. It just isn’t possible to be as mentally sharp and physically quick as you push past the 8-hour mark.

More troubling is that nurses are blamed if anything goes wrong because they are the ones with the most patient contact. It’s a systems problem that looks for a scapegoat and deters many from going into nursing in the first place. A classic Catch 22!

– Barb Nash, Beaufort

The Island News faithfully supports military

I am with Defense Health Agency’s Recovery Care Coordination Program (www.warriorcare.mil) and I work with the military family caregivers of wounded, ill and injured service-members and disabled veteran caregivers.

Your latest Veterans Benefits article on “How the VA Can Help Veterans” was excellent. This week’s article was a great help to retirees and all veterans. I hope you don’t mind that I copied-and-pasted it into a MS-Word document and am going to send it to many of my contacts. (I have more than 2,500 of them, so will have to be a little selective if I want to get that done today.)

A big thanks to Larry Dandridge and The Island News for that. I’d like to meet Larry sometime during a trip to South Carolina (when my supervisor once again allows me to travel after this blastid COVID thing is over). I intend to share more of your articles with my veteran and military friends.

I especially appreciate the fact that your paper is one of the few that faithfully supports our military members and veterans on a weekly basis. Blessings to you and yours, and to your staff,

– Max Dolan, Defense Health Agency, DoD Office of Warrior Care Policy, PEER Support Coordinator, Fort Bragg, N.C.

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