Staff Shortages and Reduced Job Satisfaction Rates in Healthcare

Health care leadership goes beyond the organization of workflows and ensuring that every practitioner works toward improving health outcomes as there are many more challenges to address. In the current discussion, it was chosen to focus on the issues of staff shortages and reduced job satisfaction rates that result in a turnover. Both of these challenges usually stem from ineffective staff management practices as well as the lack of leadership competency exhibited by hospital leaders. It is imperative to address the identified barriers because of their adverse impact on hospital performance and decrease the quality of care provided to patients.

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The first issue, staff shortage, represents a significant challenge to healthcare leadership because of the critical changes occurring in the area of human resources for health. As mentioned by Buchan and Aiken (2010), the sphere of healthcare was experiencing a crisis in the recruitment of personnel, with such organizations as the World Health Organization devoting time to research and report the influence of shortages in the profession on global health care.

In an ancillary service department, the shortage of personnel presents a significant challenge. There should be enough professionals available for fulfilling diagnostic, therapeutic, and custodial responsibilities. With a shortage of staff in the department, it is expected that the quality of services provided to patients will decrease. For example, when there is urgent care needed to provide a physical therapy service, but all ancillary nurses are occupied in the labs and radiology offices, significant limitations in care provision are expected to occur.

The second issue, job dissatisfaction, and turnover is closely associated with the problem of staff shortages. When professionals in a department do not feel satisfied with the work environment, they are more likely to leave their job in pursuit of a new career or another facility that values its workers and caters to their demands. Dissatisfaction with one’s job is problematic in any sphere of operations, but in healthcare, it presents severe challenges because of the impact on the quality of care and health outcomes of patients. As mentioned by Chien and Yick (2016), nurse professionals highlight the role of job satisfaction and job-related stress as negative contributors to the intentions to leave employment and thus contribute to the increase of turnover within facilities and the healthcare profession.

Dissatisfaction with one’s job exasperates with the heavy workload and the lack of support from their beers. The inadequate organizational climate, unfair salary, the lack of autonomy are also factors that make it more likely for skilled professionals to leave their positions. In the setting of an ancillary service department, job dissatisfaction is likely to decrease the morale among workers, reduce the quality of communication and collaboration, and contribute to shortages of professionals.

Fostering a positive environment that facilitates communication, collaboration, and teamwork is expected to bring more attention to staff shortages. Within the ancillary service department, specialists of different levels of expertise and specializations are expected to collaborate to reach optimal care outcomes. Shortages are identified when these professionals communicate and work in the team – limitations in quality and scope are evident when each person is doing the work that was assigned to him or her. In order to foster collaboration and make a healthcare department welcoming for new members to join and thus reduce shortages, it is recommended to create power-shared partnerships that will bring purposeful attention to the needs and problems of the practice and achieve successful outcomes (Morley & Cashell, 2017).

Collaboration is considered a common theme when it comes to addressing the challenges of professionals’ shortages and job dissatisfaction. Four critical recommendations targeted at improving communication, collaboration, and fostering diversity in the workplace include coordination, cooperation, shared decision-making, and partnerships. The framework of recommendations was initially developed by Sullivan and later used in the research literature to study the impact of collaboration on improving the health care practice. Coordination is expected to decrease turnover and boost satisfaction because the team will be working together to achieve shared goals.

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Cooperation is an essential aspect of enhancing outcomes because it implies contributing with knowledge and skills to facilitate the enhanced environment of valuing the contributions of other team members. Shared decision-making is necessary for teams to rely on negotiation, trust, openness, and a respectful power balance. Without having a shared sense of what the goals are and how they should be achieved, it will be challenging for professionals to understand how they can cooperate. Partnerships, which imply open and respectful relationships that are cultivated over time, will develop a shared vision and collaboration to meet the objectives of care.

To conclude, the ancillary service department should work toward creating an environment of collaboration to address such challenges as staff shortages and reduced job satisfaction. Developing an environment where collaboration is valued and where teamwork is the primary tool for reaching the established objectives is highly likely to improve the challenges positively. It is the job of hospital directors and leaders to identify gaps in collaborative actions and invest in training and education to cater to the needs of their employees.


Buchan, J., & Aiken, L. (2008). Solving nursing shortages: a common priority. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17(24), 3262-3268.

Chien, W. T., & Yick, S. Y. (2016). An Investigation of Nurses’ Job Satisfaction in a Private Hospital and Its Correlates. The Open Nursing Journal, 10, 99-112.

Morley, L., & Cashell, A. (2017). Collaboration in health care. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 48, 207-216.

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