The pandemic has caused a rise in demand for nursing professionals to care and provide treatments. The number of people needing medical attention is at an all-time high, which means more opportunities than ever before!
Nursing continues to support the most vulnerable among us: babies, children with special needs such as disabilities or chronic illnesses like asthma – even older adults who need assistance because they may have lost mental capacity due to their conditions. However, the pandemic has put a strain on resources, leaving many without access to care. Nurses are in high demand as an increasing number of patients needs their support and professional expertise during this time when so many others cannot provide it themselves
The pandemic has exposed the deep flaws within our healthcare. However, more than exposure, it showed us how lethal it is as a virus. The health care sector is one of the busiest sectors, with numerous patients checking in and out every day. The pandemic made nurses become the backbone in unimaginable ways. Here are some ways nursing has become a vital spot at the hospital:
- They know how to communicate with patients
Nurses, better than any other profession, know how to talk to patients. That is because they spend the most time with patients out of any other medical professional. Hence, their bedside manners are far ahead of those of doctors. Moreover, during the initial pandemic days, communication was critical. Patients’ information was vital in knowing what we were dealing with as public health officials also required the same information.
- Keeping tabs on patients
Nurses, in general, are excellent and structured people. However, male nurses have a category of their own. Not only can they keep tabs on every patient they look after, but they’ll also take care of them better. However, male nurses in demand are at an all-time high, but there is a shortage in the industry, and a lot needs changing if we want to solve this problem. Men need better education about their career options to see where working as a nurse would be best suited.
The coronavirus is by far the most lethal virus we have ever encountered to use all the help to get accurate information. While patient agitation is expected, only nurses have the stamina to look after patients and take care of them better.
- Short on staff
The pandemic has people working around the clock. Doctors and nurses are needed on board to make sure that patients get looked after, and that is where nurses come in handy. The care and level of expertise they provide are essential for the sector to thrive. Most doctors are occupied looking after ten or twenty patients. Nurses can swoop in and make sure that the remaining patients are also getting proper care and attention. The medical sector cannot afford to slip anytime as it opens the door to medical malpractice. While the pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, it still doesn’t excuse the level of care that goes into caring for patients. Burnout doctors are dangerous to the healthcare system, so to keep them still energetic, NPs are important.
- Reusing PPEs
Due to the pandemic, there was a shortage of PPEs. For the healthcare staff, that poses a level of concern. Since the safety of these professionals was equally important. However, having NPs on board meant they could check many patients at a time managing their PPE supply. Doctors generally checked a patient and moved on without paying attention to how many PPEs they waste.
On the other hand, since they’re already keeping tabs on patients, nurses can easily reuse the same garments while maintaining social distance. So not only are they safeguarding PPEs, they’re preventing unnecessary waste. These PPEs are also clogging landfill sites, and so managing properly is a priority. It also keeps the virus from spreading rapidly, with unattended discarded PPEs crowding the hospitals.
- Shift and Expansion In Roles
The previous model of having our NPs and PAs see many patients under direct physician supervision. Now nurses are becoming more seasoned and better at looking after patients. So most doctors are now facing replacement with NPs taking over the scene. As a result, in some cases, allowing the more experienced NPs to manage their patients with a higher degree of autonomy makes acute diseases easy to cure. While the physicians will always be available for questions and concerns, essentially, independent practice is allowed for mid-level practitioners. The collaborative effort ensures that patients with COVID and routine checkups get the treatment they’re promised.
- Flexible specialists
Med schools in the US are going through a lot. By this time, we get a fresh wave of applicants and residency students. However, due to the almost nationwide cancellation of elective procedures and surgeries, many mid-level practitioners in surgical specialties have found themselves out of work. There are also not enough staff on board to take over each other’s shifts and help carry the baggage of managing patients. Doctors also found themselves out of work entirely or with fewer weekly shifts, so hospital medicine programs have brought these NPs to help out. Most NPs have an idea of what to expect in an intense hospital environment. However, with minimal training, they are ready to work in a new capacity that doesn’t require much supervision, allowing them to practice independently. Bringing in nurse practitioners has allowed these doctors to keep working while greatly relieving pressure on the patients with other symptoms.
- better outpatient appointments and COVID testing
COVID has taken the world by a spur. There was no telling whether patients had a common cold or the deadly virus, so there was worldwide confusion. Even the WHO and CDC-approved statements were not enough to curb the suspicion or confusion. Hundreds of thousands of patients have presented with suspicious symptoms and requested testing at primary care clinics, urgent care centers, and ad hoc testing centers. These patients filled the hospitals trying to get their tests done while struggling with the idea of quarantine. NPs and PAs, many of whom have already worked in primary care, are ideal staff for these centers. These professionals know the method of tilting the head back, inserting the swabs, and sealing them for testing.
NPs are no short of being a blessing in disguise for many hospitals. The skills they possess make them suitable to lend a hand to hospitals. The healthcare sector is already staggering under the pandemic’s weight. With so little staff on board with no recruits, there was almost a sign of the system collapsing. NPs are professionals who know the system well inside and out. They know what the system means for them and how to navigate without the need for supervision. Soon enough, they took over testing centers and even attending routine patients. A division of labor is keeping the system afloat again.