Nursing Paper on The Quality of Care for the Aging Population

In my research, I addressed the issue of the aging population and its impacts on the nursing profession. In recent years, the number of Americans aged sixty-five years and above has increased significantly, approximately8%. This increase has resulted in an increasing need for caregivers, particularly nurses and subsequently a rise in pressure among the nurses to perform. The ratio of patients to nurses has also risen, resulting in the deterioration of the quality of health care services. This is inadvertently a problem to healthcare, especially to the nurses in specific. The number of aging people accessing healthcare services through emergency departments has also risen. The growth in hospital admissions is also higher than the growth in outpatient treatments while the number of nurses is not growing to correspond with the growing need. The strain on the practitioners is transferred to patients through quality service delivery.

Literature Evidence

Previous studies have indicated that as the aging population rises, the prevalence of chronic diseases also increases. Cardiovascular diseases, for instance, are projected to cause a significant challenge to the healthcare sector. Additionally, the longevity of the aging population also poses a strain on the healthcare sector, requiring a change of policies towards the adoption of value-based care systems whereby the practitioners would be remunerated based on quality rather than quantity of healthcare service provision. With a high patient to nurse ration, a value-based care system may limit accessibility to services as nurses would focus more on providing quality care to fewer individuals than helping greater numbers of people. The aging populations are also faced with complex health challenges that require prolonged periods of specialized care, which only trained nurses can provide. Strain on the nurses results in performance challenges, some of which give adverse outcomes such as fatalities which could have been prevented.

Research Methods

To find out the extent and possible solutions towards the identified problems, I conducted a research based on a cross-sectional study design. The objective was to determine the extent of prolonged hospital stay among the aging population and the impacts of such stay. From literature, various adverse effects result from strain on nurses. The cross–sectional study, therefore, focused on certain adverse outcomes that have been identified through the literatures. Effects such as disabilities, failure to rescue emergency cases and death among the populations were examined through reports from hospital discharge units and staffs. While conducting the research, I identified a study population and then based hospital data collection practices on the populations identified. The collected data was then analyzed using SPSS.

Results

Through the research conducted, various assertions made by the past literatures were confirmed. Reports from hospital discharge units and personnel indicated that when elderly people stay in hospitals for prolonged duration, they developed various complications including pneumonia, shock, as well as cardiac arrest. Some even end up being disabled as a result of being inactive for prolong periods. The research also indicated that the number of nurses available determined the quality of care to patients in the hospitals. When there was a  shortage of nurses, there were high chances of fatigue and loss of competence resulting in health complications. In cases whereby there health complications were detected, a shortage of practitioners led to low identification rates, and thus, rescue failure, which led to patient deaths.