According to a study, the vast majority of hospitals expect the shortage of nursing staff to worsen. 86 percent of the clinics surveyed believe that the job situation on general wards will worsen in the next three years, shows a study published on Monday by the auditing firm BDO and the German Hospital Institute (DKI), which was available to the DPA news agency. “The clinics have a bleak outlook for the near future,” it says.
According to the study results, the clinics surveyed are primarily lacking suitable applicants. In addition, the impending retirement of nurses is a common reason for the poor future prospects. The general exhaustion of employees also plays an important role.
According to the study, there is currently a lack of nurses in general wards in almost every hospital (94 percent). In the affected clinics, an average of eight percent of full-time positions are vacant. In intensive care units, almost three quarters of the clinics have problems filling open nursing positions. Twelve percent of full positions remained vacant there.
The hospitals are trying to combat the shortage of staff by offering guarantees for trainees, expanding training capacities and employing nursing staff from abroad. “Despite all efforts, the gaps are currently difficult to close,” says Karl Blum, board member and head of research at the DKI.
Neither the planned major hospital reform nor other health policy measures such as the reform of nursing training would improve the situation, according to the majority of those surveyed in the study. A third even assume that the combination of nursing, pediatric and geriatric nursing training will actually increase the shortage. “If this continues, hospitals will have to close departments, not because they are running out of money, but because there are no longer enough nursing staff available,” says Volker Penter, head of the healthcare department at BDO.