The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals released the results of a survey Monday. It was about the working conditions faced by nurses in the Metro-Milwaukee area. The survey was taken from over 1,500 nurses and reveals that working conditions are leading to worsening quality of care issues.
A key to the problem are the high workloads, forced overtime, and even going without meal breaks. According to the survey, these things are widespread and are contributing to errors in patient care. Over 500 of the nurses gave specific examples of errors that have occurred as a result of nurse fatigue.
While the staffing problems are creating safety issues all across the healthcare system, the issues at hospitals are the most severe. Over ninety percent of hospital nurses in the survey say that there are units in their hospital that they believe are actually unsafe for patients. Seventy percent of hospital nurses say that they would worry about their own families receiving care at their own hospitals.
The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals will be sending the results of the survey to area nurses and state and federal legislators. They will also be urging legislators to introduce legislation to deal with mandatory overtime and safe staffing. The results of the survey are striking and it would be unacceptable for legislators to ignore such serious problems.