In many of our hospital/medical malpractice cases, we are seeing an alarming trend which needs to be brought to light. More and more, hospitals are replacing experienced, seasoned nurses with nurses with little to no hospital experience. Why? The answer is simple: to make more money. You see “experience” commands higher wages and the hospital administrators don’t like that because many are rewarded for increasing profits, even if it is at the expense of quality patient care.
So, instead, it appears that many hospital administrators have chosen to utilize younger less experienced nurses to accomplish this profit making goal. We have seen it way too many times. Why pay a 10 to 30+ year experienced nurse a higher wage when a new, inexperienced nurse (fresh out of school) can supposedly do the same job for a mere fraction of the cost? Well, the problem is obvious!! Experience matters when it comes to patient care. Unfortunately, many hospital administrators don’t seem to care a bit about that important principle.
The frightening part is that this cost-cutting practice is becoming more and more widespread and it is putting patients at risk, pushing nursing and support staff to exhaustion, and running off the very nurses we need to protect us from needless harm due to nursing inexperience!
Many hospitals administrators just think about their budgets and it takes lawsuits to make them realize that cutting corners costs lives!
Too many experienced nurses have watched very talented colleagues leave the bedside due to work conditions, decreased hours etc…. Even worse, staff experience is cut to the minimum (if not eliminated altogether) while nurse-to-patient ratios are increasing, causing a dangerous combination.
Naturally, all of this is happening while hospital administrators continue to try to think of yet more ways to cut or find cheaper resources. It’s ironic, that hospital bureaucrats are richly rewarded by bonuses and salary increases for increasing profit margins, while experienced nurses are either sent packing, denied raises or watch their benefits decrease.
More and more, nurses are shouldering the blame for declining patient satisfaction, increasing patient mishaps/falls, improper or late medication administration, all the while they are asked to do more with less experience to guide them. These “newbies” are often thrown into the fire of patient care without the guiding hand of experience to teach them. Inevitably, it’s the patients who suffer from that inexperience in many different forms such as life threatening codes increasing (because the medical problem was not recognized much earlier) and/or patient transfers to higher levels of care (because there is no experience on current floors to handle the care or situation). Again, all of this is often because no one was there who had the experience to advocate for the patient or recognize the care that was needed.
So, who is really to blame for these ever increasing nursing issues? The novice nurse who has no mentor to teach her the true practice of nursing or the hospital administrator looking to make money at the expense of patient care? The answer, in our opinion, squarely lies with the hospital administration (which put that novice nurse into troubling waters without the experienced nurse to guide her) as much or more than the nurse herself.
Worse still, these administrators make life and death patient care decisions without actually understanding what is really happening at the bedside. Many of these same administrators ignore the nurses when patient care concerns are voiced.
At one time or another in our lives, we will be a patient, often times in a hospital setting. When that day comes, it’s time that hospital administration recognizes that the bedside nurse with over 10+ years is an asset, not a financial liability. The severance of experience from the nurse/patient relationship is not only dangerous, it’s stupid.
Apparently, these administrators are not scared at the prospect of making a fast buck at the expense of patient care. Perhaps, these administrators just have not been hospitalized themselves to wake them up to the reality that experience matters. Perhaps, just perhaps, it takes a lawsuit which squarely places the wrongful actions of hospital administrators in the spotlight to finally end the “greed over care” trend. The law firm of Jackel & Phillips is certainly prepared to fight this battle and hopefully stop this dangerous trend!