Lack of Resources in Healthcare

Lack of Resources in Healthcare

What can clinicians do about a lack of resources in healthcare facilities?

A lack of resources in healthcare settings has serious consequences for the quality of patient care and the professional work environment for nurses, therapists, and other healthcare providers. Having more health system resources available and making better use of the resources are two approaches that can suffice the needs of workers and meet patients’ expectations.

As per data released by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, many healthcare facilities either are not ready or have a lack of supply for emergency situations. Some examples include:

  • not having the crash cart stocked and ready
  • not having the proper dosage of emergency medicines in the crash cart
  • not having the patient's code sheet ready
  • staff do not know where to find the code status of a patient

These are critical situations where a microsecond of time makes a difference!

Regularly checking and maintaining a crash cart on the unit is critically necessary. There should be a regular schedule to check on the dosage and amount of medications in the crash cart including checking the expirations dates of medications. Be sure all intubation supplies and intravenous equipment are also fully stocked.

Additional supplies in the crash cart include sterile gloves, drapes, ECG electrodes, suction supplies, sutures, Salem pump, cricothyroidotomoy kit, and a lumbar puncture kit. In addition, a timely communication with the head of the department or the clinic manager should occur in instances where there is a shortage of any emergency supplies.

Other examples of lack of resources in healthcare facilities include:

  • not having a proper system for communication or documentation
  • technology issues
  • short supply of medical equipment

How to Handle a Lack of Resources in Healthcare Work Environment?

There is no one answer to deal with this situation as a healthcare employee. You really have to evaluate a situation objectively to make sure that the issues you see are real issues that affect patient care as well as employees’ efficiency. Again, having open communication with management regarding the facility’s needs is the best approach.

When communicating with your clinical manager, try to be open, polite and non-judgmental. Have a conversation and not an argument. If possible, think about a solution or two before you talk with your manager. Your supervisor may not agree with you, but they will be appreciative that you are trying to find a possible solution.

Keep in mind that budget allowance may be one reason for the lack of proper resources. In this instance, you can help find areas in your unit where a reduction in waste could occur. Reducing spending in wasteful areas can allow re-allocation of money to purchase more efficient resources.


  1. Kavene, S., Orchard, C., Howard, J. M., Soriano, M.A., Leduc, R. The importance of human resources management in healthcare: a global context. Human Resources for Health. 2006; 4(20).
  2. Healthcare Facilities lack appropriate equipment, supplies to manage emergency situations: Report. News Medical Life.
  3. Lamarche, P.A., Pineault, R., Gauthier, J., Hamel, M., Haggerty, J. Availability of Healthcare Resources, Positive Ratings of the Care Experience and Extent of Service Use: An Unexpected.
  4. Health, United States, 2016: With Chartbook on Long-term Trends in National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2017. Publication number: 2017-1232.
  5. Whitehead, B., Hervertson, R.K., Hamric, A. B., Epstein, E.G., Fisher, J.M. Moral Distress Among Healthcare Professionals: Report of an Institution-Wide Survey. Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 2015; 47 (2): 117-125.
This article was written by Bijal Shah, Clinical Educator

Leave a reply

Please note: Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *