Absenteeism amongst nursing professionals appear to be a major problem in the health care industry. It continues to be a growing concern for management as it adversely affects patient care and disorganizes the flow of work. In addition, due to nurse absenteeism it causes staff shortage which results is overburdens of other nurses who are forced to work long hours and as a result patient care is at an all-time low. Nurses plays a pivotal role in the health care process of patients. Worldwide, there is not enough of nurses to meets the demands of the health care system. Hospitals and health care facilities are losing a lot of dollars due to the high absenteeism rate.
According to Munro (2007), “absenteeism is probably one of the biggest problems that a manager must handle on an ongoing basis as it impacts on service delivery, staff morale, and could lead to financial losses”. Absenteeism is the failure of an employee to keep working as per the schedule due to different reason. Cascio (2003) defines absenteeism as any failure of an employee to report for or to remain absent from work scheduled, regardless of the reason. Absenteeism generates substantial cost for employers which is not entirely controllable, but management must focus on plummeting controllable cost associated with absenteeism.
When nurses are absent from work, it affects the working environment as well as the financial performance because management would have to find another nurse replacement of the institution
Porter and Steers (1973) states that “absenteeism is a temporary measure to avoid an unrewarding situation without the loss of employment”. In addition to absenteeism, turnover is another indicative measure of an institution shortcomings. Furthermore, it is recognized that absenteeism and turnover are major reasons for lost productivity in any company. Buschak et al (1996) states clearly that absenteeism that is unscheduled is a problem in every business as it puts an unfair weight on most staffs who attend work. It was further indicated that absenteeism ultimately hampers customer satisfaction and drains the economy of the country. Buschak et al (1996) was supported by Steers and Rhodes (1984) as they quantified that for every 0.5% increase in national absence rates in the United States, the gross domestic product drops by $10 billion.
The aim is to understand what absenteeism is and how it affects nurses. Specifically, the purpose of the report will emphasize how absenteeism affects efficiency, profitability and productivity. The paper will also seek to discuss measures a company can implement to try and prevent staff absenteeism. The overall purpose of this study is to highlight issues that contribute towards nurses’ absenteeism.