The healthcare industry isn’t the same as it had been during medieval times. Innovative medical treatments and emerging technologies have brought in new standards of patient care, which have managed to impact the nursing sector.
However, nothing could compare to the changes introduced by the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a nurse, you probably have a lot of questions regarding the future of nursing. Are there any long-term changes that nurses can expect to see after the effects of the pandemic wear off? How has the COVID-19 crisis affected the field in general? Will there be anything good coming out of this terrible situation?
While we cannot be certain about everything, there are certain ways the nursing profession has changed worldwide. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Though telehealth or virtual visits were possible for many years, it wasn’t as convenient as it is in the era of social distancing. Because of this reason, many nurses can be found reaching out to patients online, even teaching them a thing or two about technology. While it may not be an ideal situation for few patients, it does make life easier for many.
Additional PPE Kits
Nobody can deny the inconvenience of putting on our masks to run errands outside. However, nurses have to deal with this on a whole different level. Though personal protective equipment (PPE) has been a part of the work attire for nurses, the COVID-19 crisis has ensured that this requirement goes beyond gloves and scrubs.
Though the face shields, gloves, and suits are designed to ensure the safety of healthcare workers, it doesn’t discount the fact that they are extremely uncomfortable during long-hour shifts. And unfortunately, this level of safety precaution is expected to become a standard uniform in the years to come.
Shortage in Nursing Staff
During the pandemic, many hospitals in the US have experienced a critical shortage of nursing staff. While the high demand for ICU may be one reason, it isn’t the sole factor responsible for the shortage. Many nurses are leaving their jobs because of several other reasons, such as lack of childcare, stress, and getting infected by the virus themselves.
It isn’t quite clear how long this shortage is going to last. However, on the bright side, this demand has led to new opportunities for those who are seeking better nursing jobs, Georgia. It is also true for nurses who were on a break/sabbatical and are planning on returning to the field.
Mental and Emotional Strain on Nurses
The shortage of nurses on the field caused by the pandemic has taken a toll on the mental and emotional health of healthcare staff. The uncertainty of the pandemic coupled with the increased patient load has resulted in feelings of irritability, anxiety, and stress, which clearly indicate the need for better mental health support for the healthcare staff.
There is no way of quantifying the ripple effects of the pandemic on the nursing profession. However, just like any other field, the nursing sector has felt an impact – some for the better, rest for the worse.