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The World Nursing Shortage:The Dangers of a Decline in Breast Cancer Nurses

By Katie McGarr on 07 September 2015

We here in Ireland are aware of the Nursing Shortage, less people are choosing to become Nurses while those that are qualified are likely to go abroad. However do we know what consequences the Nursing shortage will truly have?!

Articles and findings from the past week are starting to show the alarming consequences:

What are the Effects of the Nursing Shortage?

The Number of Cases of Breast Cancer has increased by a fifth in the past decade!  However although with this significant increase in cases, the number or Breast Cancer Nurses has remained the same in the UK with just over 400 holding the load. Charity Breast Cancer Care warns that this is not enough Nurses to cope with the growing number of patients.  

What Will Happen if this Continues?

With this significant ratio of Patients to Nurses increasing, quality of care for each individual patient will suffer. The Independent Cancer Task Force for England recomends that ‘Every Cancer patient should have access to a specialist Nurse’. With such a significant Nursing Shortage this is just not possible. 

The report also showed an alarming statistic for patients also suffering from Ovarian Cancer, the older a patient was the less likely they were to have potential life saving surgery.

81% of women aged 15-54 with ovarian cancer underwent surgery, while only 52% of those over 55 had an operation.”

Those who suffer with Breast Cancer or Ovarian Cancer deserve the most comprehensive care possible but with a Nursing Shortage the patients are the ones who will suffer.

The NHS in the UK has stated that the hiring of Breast Cancer or Specialist Nurses are the responsibility of each individual Hospital.

What do you think?  

Has anyone close to you had a specialist Breast Care Nurse? What do you think should be done?

Let us know below.

Thanks to The Guardian for the original Article.

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