In December 2019, doctors detected the first case of the novel Corona-virus in Wuhan, China. A year later — the virus spread globally, taking millions of lives in its wake and halting daily activity everywhere.
Life as we knew it had changed almost entirely because of this pandemic. Many wonder if we can ever return to ‘normal.’ With so much uncertainty and fear in the air, healthcare providers’ role is more critical than ever before. The disease shows different symptoms in each person, with some remaining asymptomatic while others are severely affected. Nurses are at the forefront of the fight against this deadly virus. There is an immense impact on the nursing profession due to the pandemic. Nurses and doctors have to risk their lives each day to care for patients across the globe. With the pandemic still underway, it’s challenging to measure the exact impact it’s had on the nursing profession.
However, there are innumerable new challenges that nurses have to face each day. Below, we shall discuss some of these challenges, as well as how we can overcome them.
SKILLED NURSE PRACTITIONERS ARE IN-DEMAND GLOBALLY
The corona-virus has infected millions globally ever since the virus was first detected in China, leading to immense challenges for hospital staff. While doctors administer treatments to patients, it’s the nurses who have to take care of them the most. People infected can deteriorate in a matter of days, which has led to hospitals becoming immensely overburdened. We need nursing practitioners more than ever before now to deal with the hundreds of critical care patients in ICU’s globally. Only the best nursing schools can equip NP’s to deal with extremely challenging circumstances. Since the pandemic shows no signs of going anywhere, begin by checking the online rankings and nursing schools’ programs to pick the most rewarding degree with high career prospects. Nurses have to deal with shortages of medicines and beds while dealing with a virus; they don’t know much about it. Hospitals are incredibly understaffed, and only the best nurses can deal with COVID-19 patients in the best way.
As discussed earlier, skilled nurse practitioners are essential if hospitals want to provide the best care to infected patients. Some proposals suggest that all non-essential visits to hospitals should get barred. So, hospitals should take in only critical care patients. However, the most effective way of reducing the stress on hospitals is by slowing down the spread. We can only do this by stressing preventative measures and informing people of the importance of staying home.
One of the most significant nursing staff changes has been coping with the immense psychological strain of dealing with COVID patients. With the disease being highly infectious, most hospitals do not allow family members to meet with patients, even in their last moments. In such harrowing conditions, nursing staff has to be there for patients even in their final moments. Additionally, nursing staff needs to isolate themselves from their family for fear of infecting them. There’s also the fear of getting infected themselves, and all these factors combine to take a heavy toll on NP’s mental health.
Researches propose various changes to help deal with nurses’ mental strain, and most solutions require governmental intervention. Coping with psychological pressure is immensely important because otherwise, we face the risk of nursing staff becoming demotivated. Furthermore, when facing high mental stress, nursing staff won’t perform their duties well. Having protective equipment available is one way of reducing psychological strain. Moreover, support groups for healthcare staff can be instrumental in letting them healthily cope with trauma. Training workshops can also be useful in helping nursing staff deal with patients, minimizing stress.
UNTIRING EFFORTS TO ADVANCE WITH THE CURE
No one alive today has experienced a pandemic like the one today. Hospitals are overburdened, and daily life has halted entirely. There isn’t much medical information available to deal with the virus. It doesn’t help that the virus changes antigens regularly. Healthcare professionals don’t know how the virus will impact anyone, as it reacts differently each time. While some are asymptomatic, others wither away in just a few days. Furthermore, patients can deteriorate incredibly fast, without any warning. As of now, we have no vaccine and no medicines proven to help against the virus.
However, researchers who are close to developing a vaccine also test medicines that can help against the virus. Online education is helpful to keep them in the loop regarding all recent medical breakthroughs. It’s also essential to inform them regarding the importance of personal hygiene and protect themselves against the virus. When dealing with the pandemic’s impact on the nursing profession, the most crucial aspect is to give NP’s the information they need to protect themselves and their patients.
While the pandemic’s impact on the nursing profession has been immense, it helps us prepare for future disasters. The pandemic has helped highlight the healthcare system’s deficiencies, and all changes are for the better. The nurses’ challenges on the job may seem impossible, but staying prepared can help mitigate much of the risk. Additionally, with governmental support and public education, we can significantly control the impact the virus has.