Inadequate Staffing Effects on Nurses and Patient Care

Topic: Nursing
Words: 3181 Pages: 8


Olympic Games are not only the site of athletic competition, but the Olympics are also the place where popular brands sponsor sports teams to receive a return on their investments in the future. Indeed, sporting events are considered powerful ways to raise awareness about a brand, increase its strength, and create uniqueness (Keller & Swaminathan, 2020). According to Keller and Swaminathan (2020), supporting a favorite athletic team or individual makes an organization look more credible from customers’ viewpoints. The provided case study discusses corporate sponsorship at the Olympics, reviews specific examples, examines ambush marketing, and analyzes the effect on the host cities and countries.

Summary of Reading

Since the Olympic Games is one of the major global sporting global competitions, many business organizations strive to build an association with it to be recognized and receive profit in the future. One of the first examples of a successful corporate sponsorship is the 1984s Games in Los Angeles, where eleven companies provided support that reached $200 million (Keller & Swaminathan, 2020). For example, companies such as Fuji, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Korean Air, Nike, The North Face, Hyundai, and Samsung are known to support the summer and winter Olympics (Keller & Swaminathan, 2020). However, this case study showed that many firms like Kodak, Lenovo, and Johnson & Johnson decided not to renew their sponsorship contracts because many people do not memorize or link specific companies with the Olympic Games.

Unfortunately, some organizations engage in ambush marketing, which is claiming a relationship to the event without providing financial support to it (Keller & Swaminathan, 2020). Thus, the Olympics Committee tries to fight this behavior by banning the use of terms related to the Games. Lastly, this case study assesses the effect of the Olympics on cities and countries that host the event. The only benefit is that it raises national pride, but its financial advantage is unclear. The perception of the Olympic Games is bifurcated because some belief in its substantial commercial profit, while others think that this event is overly commercialized. Overall, it appears that a company’s success after sponsoring the Olympics depends on the quality of the commercial plan associated with it.

Recent Olympic sponsorship deals

The two most recent Olympic Games were held in Tokyo in 2021 and in Beijing in 2022, summer and winter, respectively. Some companies became even more popular due to being the top sponsors of the Games, while others had to provide financial support due to the contract (MediaRadar, 2021).

The most renowned corporations that sponsored the recent summer Games were Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Google, Samsung, and Coca-Cola (MediaRadar, 2021). In fact, 93% of the provided funding came from these companies (MediaRadar, 2021). A smaller portion of financial aid was given by such firms as Alibaba, Bridgestone, Visa, Omega, Panasonic, Intel, General Electric, and thirty other companies (MediaRadar, 2021).

The sponsorship of the Winter Games was more complicated because they were conducted in China, which is often criticized by Western countries for violating human rights (Clayton & Dyer, 2022). Therefore, previously popular partners kept a relatively low marketing profile during the 2022 Games in Beijing (Clayton & Dyer, 2022). It appears that the geopolitical situation influenced the sponsorship of the most recent summer and winter Olympics. The Olympic partnership program seemed to be successful during the 2021 Games in Tokyo, but it was not the case for the 2022 winter event in Beijing. This sporting event in Tokyo was successful because funding allowed to significantly increase the broadcasting of the Olympics globally (International Olympic Committee, 2021). Although large international corporations provided the sponsorship in both cases, the companies preferred not to advertise their financial support of the winter Olympics this year (Clayton & Dyer, 2022). Overall, enough financial support was provided during the two recent Games, but the firms performed fewer marketing campaigns in Beijing than in Tokyo.

Ambush marketing

Some organizations utilize ambush marketing, claiming that one is associated with an event without providing the actual sponsorship to gain credibility from their customers. One of the most popular events that attract firms that engage in such practices is the Olympic Games (Keller & Swaminathan, 2020).

The first example of ambush marketing was when Li Ning, a Chinese gymnast, opened the Beijing games wearing shoes of his own brand instead of the sportswear from Adidas, the official sponsor of the Games (Keller & Swaminathan, 2020). His line attracted tremendous attention from the public, but Li Ning’s company did not provide funding for the Olympics (Keller & Swaminathan, 2020). Another example of this type of marketing was that one of the British bookmaker firms, Paddy Power created a giant billboard, stating that this company is an official sponsor of the 2012 Games in London (Keller & Swaminathan, 2020). Overall, this type of promotion gives people a false impression that a particular organization supports the Olympics, but in reality, it does not. It provides an unfair advantage to such companies, affecting the profit and credibility of the actual sponsors. Nurses make up more than half of all healthcare professionals in the world and provide vital services at all levels of the healthcare system. Nursing staff is the foundation of any healthcare system since while doctors prescribe treatment, nurses see to it that this treatment is delivered timely and effectively. Nowadays, nurses are at the forefront of the fight against epidemics and pandemics that threaten the health of people around the US. Recently there has been a drastic shortage of nursing workers in hospitals and clinics around the country. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that, according to The American Nurses Association (ANA), more registered nurse jobs will be available through 2022 than any other profession in the United States (American Nurses Association). The purpose of this research is to investigate the problem of inadequate staffing, its reasons, and its impact on nurses and patient care.

Inadequate staffing has been one of the major problems in medical settings,with the main reasons for it being aging workforce and nurses’ dissatisfaction with the jobs. Nursing is a demanding profession that requires deep concern about the patients’ needs and the ability to sympathize that cannot be learned. While many nurses leave the profession due to old age and tiredness, much fewer people go into nursing jobs which exacerbates the problem. This paper hypothesizes that inadequate staffing fosters nurses’ frustration with the job and often results in burnout, and unwillingness to continue working in the profession. As far as patients are concerned, inadequate staffing leads to errors and higher morbidity and mortality rates.

The Problem

Inadequate nursing is an inappropriate nursing staff-to-patient ratio in clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. Over the years, many factors have combined to aggravate this problem, among which are nurses’ floating practices, aging of medical workers, and burnout experienced by medical staff. Harrington et al. (2020, para. 2) “reveal a strong positive relationship between the number of nursing staff who provide direct care […] and the quality […] of life”. Nurses’ shortage has an impact on all healthcare systems due to its direct influence on patients’ outcomes. Resio-Saucedo (2018, para. 10) asserts that “adequacy and nurse staffing [are] key environment factors [determining] the incidence and prevalence of missed care”. High nurse-to-patient ratio significantly increases the risk of mistakes, such as administering wrong medication, untimely assistance in case of need, mixing up tests results, and many others. Moreover, “lower levels of registered nurses […] increases the likelihood of patients dying on hospital wards” (Resio-Saucedo, 2018, para. 14). All factors considered, it can be said that the influence of inadequate staffing on patient care is really strong.

Another area impacted by inadequate nursing is nurses’ perception of their work. The shortage of nurses at any given medical facility increases the workload for nursing staff who work there. There is a direct correlation between the number of staff and the level of nurses’ satisfaction with their jobs. In understaffed clinics and hospitals, the load of responsibility may be so high that nurses experience a burnout – inability to cope and the desire to quit the profession. Paradoxically, the fewer nurses there are, the more they are willing to leave, which results in even greater shortages and understaffing. The relocation of responsibilities may be a way out here, though it is unclear how to achieve it without employing more staff.

Working at two levels – nurses’ and patients’ perception of the medical setting – understaffing is a serious problem that drastically diminishes the quality of nursing care. Objectively, it leads to errors and poses risks of inadequate response to patients’ needs; at an emotional level, it causes frustration, moodiness, and dissatisfaction with the job. Inadequate staffing cannot easily be tackled as there are more people who leave the profession than those who readily embrace it, which is partially due to the absence of places at medical colleges that train nursing staff. Other reasons for understaffing comprise aging work staff, violence in the healthcare setting, and dissatisfaction with the job (Haddat et al, 2020). The difficulties in employing new staff and the peculiarity of the nursing profession with a high stress on responsibility and compassion add to the graveness of inadequate staffing problem.

Search Strategies

Search strategies for this project are based on the concept of qualitative secondary research, using available data for analysis. The literary review was conducted to find out the relevant information on the effects of inadequate staffing. Academic searches were carried out using the triangulation design mentioned by Almalki in his work. This design presupposes gathering data from different sources on the same topic and synthesizing them (Almalki, 2016). Digital databases, including Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, Research Gate, and Medline (via Ovid) were used to determine key developments in the field of study. The choice of a secondary research mechanism is fully justified by the low relevance of the other options to the present research work (Parkkinen, 2018). Interviews and quantitative physical experiments were not feasible due to insufficient and limited resources available, whereas academic search fully met all requirements.

Articles, government data and websites were searched using primary filtering mechanisms that included criteria of temporal relevance and author and publication authority. Searches were carried out through textual and content analysis, including the use of thematic keywords. Thus, the total number of sources used was 10, of which 9 should be classified as academic literature. The current work does not conflict with other studies but actively complements them through comparative analysis. This fact confirms the chosen methodological framework’s reliability and supports the present study’s scientific relevance.

Level of Evidence

The collected information was classified according to the level of supporting data contained in it in order to assess its quality. According to Desai et al. (2019), there are five levels of evidence which could be represented in the form of a pyramid, starting from the less credible information to the most reliable data. The fifth, least credible level includes general information on the topic and experts’ opinions. The fourth level is a descriptive study of a small group of people, which, as a rule, compliments a clinical case. The third level comprises an observational retrospective study in which patients suffering from a disease are compared to patients who do not have this disease.

The second and the first levels of the pyramid are considered to represent the most credible data as they rely on numerous and comprehensive studies in the field. The second level implies monitoring a large group of people with certain characteristics in order to identify health-related consequences. The fifth is a systematic, statistically-based data review in which the results of different studies are compared and combined. This research combines the least credible sources, such as nurses’ opinions about the impact of understaffing on their job satisfaction, with the most relevant ones, such as meta-analytical studies undertaken in the field. Thus, it can be construed that the results of the research will bear credibility and pave the way for further research in the field.

Another widely accepted method of enhancing the reliability of the research is forming a PICOT question. The PICOT question contains such elements as population, intervention, comparison, measurable outcome, and time frame (Braga et al., 2018). To add credibility to the current research, PICOT questions were formed as to the impact understaffing has on nurses and the quality of patient care. In this study, the PICOT questions are as follows:

Among patients of all ages, does inadequate nursing compared to adequate nurse-to-patient ratio results in a higher level of mistakes and missed care over 6 months? Among nurses of all ages, does inadequate nursing compared to adequate nurse-to-patient ratio results in a higher level of dissatisfaction and burnout over 6 months?

Answering the given above PICOT questions will help to get reliable data as to the influence of understaffing on nurses and patients’ care.

Literature Review

Numerous scientific works touch upon the effects of inadequate nursing on nurses and patient outcomes. The article “Nursing shortage” discusses possible reasons and clinical significance of understaffing. Among the reasons, the authors name the aging workforce, marriage and family issues, violence in the healthcare setting, and nurses’ burnout (Haddad et al., 2020). Clinically significant consequences include “errors, higher morbidity and mortality rates” (Haddad et al., 2020, para. 17). The enumerated consequences comprise serious risks for patients’ health and safety, and ways should be found to resolve the understaffing issue.

The article “Appropriate nurse staffing levels for US nursing homes” discusses the appropriate nurse staffing level to promote resident health and well-being. The article claims that more than half of nursing homes are understaffed, which results in nurses’ “inability to complete their assignments including basic care, communications, and timeliness of care” (Harrington et al., para 52). Moreover, “missed or omitted care [leads to] adverse events including pressure ulcers, medication errors, and new infections” (Harrington et al., para 52). Thus, it can be construed that as far as patients are concerned, understaffing is a serious mismeasure that breeds numerous medical problems, reducing the quality and expectancy of life.

This idea is further elaborated in a literary review named “What impact does nursing care left undone have on patient outcomes?”. The authors stress that “significantly decreased patient satisfaction” is associated with understaffing (Recio‐Saucedo et al., 2018). Recio‐Saucedo et al. (2018) found that “nurse staffing levels [lead to] adverse outcomes as a result of missed care”. The article centers around the consequences missed care may lead to and states that hospitals should better staff their wards to minimize patients’ risks and enhance safety. The relationship between missed care and understaffing is dwelled upon; the latter is found the be the major reason for missed care practices.

The article “Hospital unit understaffing and missed treatments: primary evidence” looks at understaffing in hospital wards and the associated patient outcomes. Metcalf et al. (2018) conducted a survey on the collected data with the purpose of determining the level of missed care caused by inadequate staffing. The results of the survey show that there is a definite link between the number of hospital nurses and the quality of patient care. Acknowledging that it is not always possible to increase the number of nurses, Metcalf et al. (2018) suggest such solutions as installing an integrated information system and promoting teamwork among employees. These measures are found to be effective in combating inadequate staffing and increasing patient safety.

The article “The relationship between burnout, job satisfaction and the rationing of nursing care” raises the issue of what could be the potential consequences of understaffing among nurses. Uchmanowicz et al. (2020) assert that inadequate staffing results in low job satisfaction and burnout among medical workers. Nurses working in understaffed unit are more likely to experience dissatisfaction and moodiness. The feeling of not being able to cope often pushes nurses to quit the job they like as they do not see the way out of the situation. Another consequence of inadequate staffing is the growth of anxiety levels among nurses as they seek to do their numerous duties.


Understaffing poses a serious problem for nurses and patients alike, causing burnout and the desire to leave the profession among medical workers and resulting in poor healthcare services for the patients. While the problem is not easily resolved, there are some solutions that may help to improve the situation. First of all, it could be beneficial for nurses to be able to make staffing ratio decisions themselves, either through nursing leaders or collectively at staff meetings. Haddad et al. (2020) state that “Empowerment in autonomy in staffing ratio decisions […] will lead to less burnout and a strong desire to leave the workforce.” The nurses would feel that their opinion count and be more ready to embrace the challenge.

Secondly, the introduction of electronic devices, such as the Electronic Medical Record (EMR), would greatly facilitate nurses’ work, reducing the workload. Thirdly, the installation of integrated information systems that allow nurses to get all the necessary data practically in no time would significantly diminish the time nurses spend on acquiring information, thus increasing their productivity (Metcalf et al., 2018). Finally, the emphasis on teamwork and collaboration would make nurses feel that they have colleagues always ready to give a supporting hand in trouble. Nurses as a community should elaborate supportive measures for those members who work in inadequate stuffing settings, offering floating programmes and material stimulus. The combination of all the above-mentioned measures is likely to increase nurses’ satisfaction with their job and promote patients’ safety.


The research aimed to determine the impact of inadequate stuffing on nurses’ perception of their work and patients’ outcome. The search strategies used for this work were based on the concept of qualitative secondary research. A number of peer-reviewed articles were carefully analysed and synthetised. PICOT questions were formed to arrive at a credible conclusion. The research largely relied on systematic, statistically-based data review that lent it further credibility.

The research found that both PICOT questions could be answered positively in that inadequate stuffing results in outburn and dissatisfaction on nurses’ part and, at the same time, leads to poor patient care. This idea is supported by evidence taken from different scientific sources. It has been found that inadequate staffing is one of the major reasons for missed care and increases patients’ morbidity and mortality rates (Metcalf et al., 2018). Among nurses, inadequate staffing may cause dissatisfaction, burnout, and desire to leave the profession (Uchmanowicz et al., 2020). Thus, understaffing affects medical system on two levels causing nurses’ distress and overload and significantly enhancing patients’ risks and mortality rates.

Several solutions were outlined to resolve the problem of inadequate staffing. First, it was proposed to put the process of decision-making related to nurse-to-patient ratio in the hands of nursing leaders so that they could determine where new nurses are most needed. Secondly, a wide use of medical technology was considered. This measure could be effective in reducing nurses’ duties thus enhancing the nurses’ satisfaction and the quality of patient care. Finally, teamwork strategies should be elaborated to promote cohesiveness among nursing staff.


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