Doctors Hospital talks about nurse shortage in Georgia
The World Health Organization launched a campaign this year to bring awareness to the contributions that nurses make to healthcare. This comes as there are nursing shortages at hospitals across the country. FOX 54 reached out to health experts at Doctors Hospital to find out how that shortage is impacting the area.
For over 25 years, Chief Nurse Office Karen Smith at Doctors Hospital has been a nurse. She told FOX 54 the shortage is impacting all hospitals in Georgia.
"Georgia ranks sixth in the nation for the nursing shortage, but we are very fortunate that we have many high-quality nursing programs in our area. That helps us recruit new graduate nurses," explained Smith.
Doctors Hospital is seeking to fill around 120 nurse positions this year. The hospital needs to fill all 120 roles soon as the hospital expects to complete the expansion of the burn center next year.
"I think there's a general fear with a nursing shortage that it could impact access to care for patients, it could impact quality of care, and also the time that patients spend in hospitals," said Smith.
Jenna Carraway started her career in nursing three years ago. She said it's a calling for people who truly have a passion to care for others. It's calling that's answered when she's able to witness patients who were in a very critical state and near death, make a full recovery.
"Watching our patients walk down the hallway for the first time is an indescribable feeling, and also even helping them take their first sip of a drink they have been craving, or eat a full spoon of pudding. That's just the simple things you take for granted in life and watching them do those again is an indescribable feeling," explained Carraway.
If you're considering going into nursing, Carraway recommends looking for opportunities to shadow a nurse to see if its right for you.