Alone at the hospital ward

According to statements by the union Germany currently has a shortage of 80.000 nurses. Chronical overcrowding and lacking support of staff members facilitate trends of turning a blind eye to assault or even a serial killing, as a critical insider of German health care states. What is the way forward for medical and health care?

53-year-old nurse Katrin Schröder loves her job, but she has to care for more and more patients in shorter time. While one nurse is responsible for 13 patients in Germany, it is only 5 in Norway or in the Netherlands. Night shifts are the biggest challenge for 50-year-old Fritz Nolting. “I have seen friends and colleagues crying at the changing room because they’ve had a tough night.”

Karl H. Beine, professor of psychiatry and psychotherapy has spent decades of research on the taboo subject of violence at the hospital. According to him, one important reason for the current crisis in care is the privatization wave of hospitals, which constantly fuels competition and cost pressure. Politicians and hospitals try at high pressure to find ways out of the crisis. Thus, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn promised to provide a separate budget for medical and health care, and the first hospitals have started testing nursing robots.

The film “Alone at the hospital ward – What’s next for German nursing?” shows the daily routines of nurses, points out causes for the crisis and visits hospitals in search for new models and ways for a better medical and health care.