NURS 6053 week 1 Discussion: Review of Current Healthcare Issues

Discussion – Week 1
Main Post-

    In healthcare there are many healthcare issues and/or stressors that impact nearly everyone in some manner.  As

healthcare professionals, we deal with the impact of various healthcare issues and stressors everyday.  However, as

healthcare professionals, we are in a unique position to help identify healthcare issues and stressors and develop response

strategies to these.

It can be seen that there is no shortage of healthcare issues and a need for change.  One healthcare issue of great

discussion currently that is impacting healthcare work settings is the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has

greatly impacted how we as a nation how we both receive and provide care.  The pandemic has greatly impacted how my

organization provides care to those in our community, leading to the evaluation and change of many of our previous policies

and processes.

I work in a high-acuity CVICU-MSICU and as a unit to help prepare for the influx of patients related to the COVID-19

pandemic, we split our CVICU and MSICU to help prevent cross-contamination of non-COVID patients.  This change has

caused increased stress, as we were moved to our old ICU unit which is extremely dated, lacks storage, room space and

often necessary supplies and equipment to provide patient care.  According to Vahedian-Azimi, et al., (2017) stress has a

negative impact on both nurses and patient outcomes; with a grater impact to those working in critical care areas.

Another process change implemented in preparation was the deployment of nursing staff from areas affected by

restrictions implemented, to work in other areas such as the ICU to help combat increased patient volume and patient

shortages.  This has lead to added stress, due to taking non-ICU trained nurses and putting them in an unfamiliar

environment that they often lack the necessary skill-set to provide care to the critical care population.  To help combat this

we have switched focus to a team or “pod nursing”. While staffing needs is a moving target, adopting team-based care and

task shifting based on the principal of practicing at the top of license and education to help with the variance in skill-matrix

to meet the needs of our patients (Pittman & Scully-Russ, 2016).

While the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the process changes associated with this is unknown, I feel that as a

nation we are better prepared if something such as this occurs again.  I am also hopeful for our “new normal” and that there

have been positive changes that have occurred, that we will continue to utilize on a daily basis even after the pandemic is



Pittman, P., & Scully-Russ, E. (2016). Workforce planning and development in times of delivery system transformation. Human Resources for Health, 14(56), 1–15. doi:10.1186/s12960-016-0154-3. Retrieved from

Vahedian-Azimi, A., Hajiesmaeili, M., Kangasniemi, M., Fornes-Vives, J., Hunsucker, R. L., Rahimibashar, F., … Miller, A. C. (2017). Effects of Stress on Critical Care Nurses: A National Cross-Sectional Study. Journal of Intensive Care Medicine34(4), 311–322. doi: 10.1177/0885066617696853


Discussion: Review of Current Healthcare Issues

If you were to ask 10 people what they believe to be the most significant issue facing healthcare today, you might get 10 different answers. Escalating costs? Regulation? Technology disruption?

These and many other topics are worthy of discussion. Not surprisingly, much has been said in the research, within the profession, and in the news about these topics. Whether they are issues of finance, quality, workload, or outcomes, there is no shortage of changes to be addressed.

In this Discussion, you examine a national healthcare issue and consider how that issue may impact your work setting. You also analyze how your organization has responded to this issue.

To Prepare:

  • Review the Resources and select one current national healthcare issue/stressor to focus on.
  • Reflect on the current national healthcare issue/stressor you selected and think about how this issue/stressor may be addressed in your work setting.

By Day 3 of Week 1

Post a description of the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected for analysis, and explain how the healthcare issue/stressor may impact your work setting. Then, describe how your health system work setting has responded to the healthcare issue/stressor, including a description of what changes may have been implemented. Be specific and provide examples.

Discussion Week One

Laureate education (2015) states, that one thing that individuals and leaders can do to be prepared for healthcare challenges of the future is to develop cultural competency, gain skills to view multiple perspectives, and develop greater understanding the survival side of any healthcare organization.  I can’t think of better wisdom while in the midst of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.  This healthcare crisis has, for better or worse, brought out a side of healthcare that no one could have ever imagined. Everything from massive amounts of casualties all over the world to shortages on equipment, that just months ago were in abundant excess. Healthcare workers around the globe are learning new and creative ways to evaluate and treat patients.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020), the death toll in the United States as of this week is 88,243 people (Table 2).

In my work setting the dealing of this virus has been like receiving a slow-motion form of whip lash for the last three months.  The initial shock of the virus instilled fear and out of fear came administrative decisions of great impact.  With resources immediately being used and unavailable for reorder, special equipment had to be purchased to protect the staff.  After shelter in place orders went out, people stopped coming into the hospitals and therefore the problems began.  With outpatient day surgery being canceled, limited census on hospital floors, and spending what’s left of the budget on PPE stockpiles, money ran out quickly.  Last week at my organization laid off 22 employees permanently and another 57 furloughed for a month.  

The American Hospital Association (2020), stated hospitals and health systems all over are facing catastrophic financial challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic (para 3).  The impact of the virus has had a full circle effect; impacting every person sick and every person caring for the sick in different horrible ways.  My organization guaranteed our pay from May 1st, 2020 to June 8th, 2020.  After June 8th, the furloughs will begin.  Another wonderful thing my organization did was protect us.  Not one staff member from my hospital got the virus and I believe it is because they went over and above to protect the staff.  I know the layoffs and furloughs are necessary for survival but seeing coworkers and friends being sent home is painful; opening my mind to the survival aspect of healthcare is necessary for my future in it.



American Hospital Association. (2020). Hospital and health systems face unprecedented 

financial pressures due to COVID-19. Retrieved June 2, 2020 from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Daily updates of totals by week and state. 

Retrieved June 2, 2020 from,

Laureate Education (Producer). (2015). Leading in Healthcare Organizations of the Future

[Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author. 

By Day 6 of Week 1

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who chose a different national healthcare issue/stressor than you selected. Explain how their chosen national healthcare issue/stressor may also impact your work setting and what (if anything) is being done to address the national healthcare issue/stressor.\

It is unfortunate how much impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on every single person in this country and across the world.  it has been very scary for health care providers especially nurse to provide direct care to patients.  with limited PPEs and personnel, nurses risk their lives each day when they step out to care for their patients.  Despite all these dedications, health care workers are laid off as a result of low patient Census.  I believe that there must be a system where jobs are protected for health care workers in any crisis.  the federal government needs to work with each state to ensure job protection for our health care workers.  Another important issue to address is that, there must be federal. state and local regulations that will mandate hospitals and other health care institutions to have surplus PPEs in stock to be used in times of crisis-at least 3 months supply of PPEs.  The federal and state government need to make provision of these PPEs to the various institutions.  Job security and availability of PPEs for health care workers is important especially during this time of uncertainties.


thank you for your post


Marshall, E., & Broome, M. (2017). Transformational leadership in Nursing: From Expert Clinician to Influential Leader (2nd ed). New York, NY: Springer


True to your statement, the COV:ID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone, especially the healthcare workers. The healthcare settings are faced with increased exposure, stress and patient load. In addition to their human toll, epidemics and pandemics can have enormous social and economic consequences in a closely interconnected and interdependent world.

In a novel virus outbreak such as COVID-19, there is no existing antiviral drugs nor vaccine available. Police departments, local utility companies and mass transit authorities experience significant personnel shortages that result in severe disruption of routine services. Several major airports close because of high absenteeism among air traffic controllers and risk of passengers contracting the disease. Health and other essential community services deteriorate further as the pandemic sweeps across the world.

As what you have stated, hospitals and outpatient clinics are critically short-staffed as doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers themselves become ill or are afraid to come to work. Intensive care units at local hospitals are overwhelmed, and soon there are insufficient ventilators for the treatment of viral complications such as pneumonia patients.

Fearing infection, elderly patients with chronic medical conditions do not dare to leave home. Parents are distraught when their healthy young adult sons and daughters die within days of first becoming ill.

Pandemics, whether mild, moderate or severe, affect a large proportion of the population and require a multisectoral response over several months or even years. For this reason, plans need to be developed by healthcare organizations describing strategies for responding to a pandemic supported by operational plans at the local, national and subnational levels. Great post!



I can totally relate to the feeling of uncertainty during COVID-19 early staffing days in the ICU.  I am cath lab nurse that frequently rotates in and out of the ED or ICU.  Being sent back to the ICU while outpatient procedures were on hold and taking a team of med-surg nurses helping for the day was an overwhelming feeling. Laureate education (2015) states, that one thing that individuals and leaders can do to be prepared for healthcare challenges of the future is to develop cultural competency, gain skills to view multiple perspectives, and develop greater understanding the survival side of any healthcare organization.  Having non-ICU trained RNs helping was a blessing and a curse, but all the while knowing that it was vital to the care of these patients. Now that we are on this side of COVID -19 I also feel, as you stated, more comfortable for the future should we be put in this position again, but the learning process was hard, and involved an extensive learning curve of trial and error.  The stressors you talked about on nurses directly effecting patient care is now the situation we have found ourselves in at my organization.  Everyone is exhaling a bit now that the virus is seeming to be on the decline.  The scary and stress filled portion of that is nurses are now losing their jobs due to poor organizational leadership of organizations or that there just aren’t enough people to be taken care of right now coming into the hospital.  I think it is safe to say that there is not one aspect of patient care or one healthcare worker around the globe that hasn’t been touched by this virus! Thanks for sharing your post, it was a great read!



American Hospital Association. (2020). Hospital and health systems face unprecedented 

financial pressures due to COVID-19. Retrieved June 6, 2020 from

Laureate Education (Producer). (2015). Leading in Healthcare Organizations of the Future

[Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

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