There was a surreal feeling, during the peak of the pandemic, around the world, with empty roads, empty streets, quiet cities, deserted airports, and closed bars and restaurants while there was the news of coronavirus spreading all over the world, with some brave hearts staying up late at night to treat the patients who have succumbed to death due to coronavirus.
The speed and intensity of the coronavirus have challenged the future of hospitals. Due to the pandemic, the entire scenario of the healthcare industry has changed.
Role and Scenario of Nurses during Covid 2020
In the months of March and April, 2020, when the number of confirmed cases increased rapidly, nurses were enlisted as volunteers to move to the city at any time for covid care. The role of the nurses in every hospital was highly appreciated by the public.
The nurses had five important key roles throughout the covid era:
First, a very prompt restructuring of the nursing system was performed to care for the covid patient. The only reason behind this, that nurses are responsible for taking charge of human and physical infrastructure. The entire hierarchy that is present between the nurses had changed. The nursing associate’s director-general undertook the general management of nursing, where the nursing directors managed the staff. There was a division as control centers, infection control nurses, and ward nurses.
This system helped the nurses to safely provide care by separating the clean and infected zones promptly.
Second, specs were made separately between dressing rooms and undressing rooms for personal protective equipment and powered air-purifying respirators (PARA).
The separation in rooms helped to improve communication. Nurses improved communication speed between ward nurses and control centers nurses, using nursing messenger from electronic medical records (EMRs).
The third and a very important role was coordinating materials and delivering continuous care. As nurses were the closest ones to the patients, they listed and coded the commonly used intensive care unit treatment material sets for easy management.
Fourthly, nurses worked day-in and day-out to improve the efficiency of the healthcare unit. And because they were the frontline caregivers, they monitored patients for 24 hours, and thus, it became easier to detect severe cases early and provide early intervention.
The last but the most crucial role of the nurses was caring for other nurses. Because this pandemic was one of the most stressful situations the world has seen in recent times, it’s very natural that at a lot of times, the nurses themselves were exhausted from being constant caregivers.
Hence it was equally important to listen to the nurses and their opinion and give equal care to them so that they could look after the patients wholeheartedly.
Future of Nursing in the Post-covid Era
After the post covid era, the profession or occupation of nursing will become even more challenging. There are now a number of clinical technologies which have been designed to help make nursing easier and redesign the care towards patients completely.
The healthcare industry is a very dynamic industry with medical breakthroughs emerging every day. To succeed as a good nurse in this industry, nurses should stay updated with the latest medical technologies, medical trends, and as well potential healthcare development.
As 2020 ends, and we step into another year, and with the pandemic still not eradicated, we should be knowing the three trends to get an idea of what the future of nursing will look like over the coming years.
Complete reliance on technology
Clinical and medical technologies are increasing at a very rapid rate. New types of technologies are emerging every other day, with faster healthcare facilities and devices to improve the way nurses can do their job. For example, there are hospitals now, point-of-care handheld computers, electronic IV monitors and barcode medication administration systems have become the replacement for manual systems. Healthcare organizations receiving medicare and Medicaid reimbursement will be needed to illustrate meaningful use of electronic health records to avoid decreased reimbursement.
Although mastering these technologies for any nurse who is more accustomed to handling patients in the traditional manner, will take time, the ultimate goal is to support healthcare professionals and improve the level of care they provide.
New career opportunities
The number of candidates aspiring for nursing roles will only grow over the years. Alternate positions will increase in popularity as well. For example Legal Nursing Consultant, Nurse Case Manager, Nurse Researcher, Forensic Nurse and so on. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the employment for registered nurses is expected to grow by a remarkable 16% between 2021-2024.
As hospitals add newer subjects like Bachelor of Science in Nursing as an entry-level requirement, the industry of healthcare will see the growth in nurses earning their BSN and nurses pursuing advanced degrees such as M.A. in science in Nursing, to stay up-to-date in the job market.
Completing medical education has become mandatory for nurses
While there is no guarantee of what the future of nursing will shape into, every nurse is responsible for and towards their respective patients and as well as themselves, to always try and come out with new ways to improve the quality of the care they provide.
Nurses who are always on the lookout for working with newer technologies, have their focus on professional development and seek out newer opportunities to increase and upgrade their knowledge.
Nurses play a very unique role in the health of Americans. Hence it’s important that we tap into their unique combination of skills, knowledge, and dedication to address health issues and improve the health and well-being of all.
Medical researchers will study and explore more on how nurses can work to reduce the health disparities and promote fairness and equity while keeping the cost aside.
They should also use the correct technology, the near medical developments, maintaining patient and family-focused care into 2030.
“Every nurse was drawn to nursing because of a desire to care, to serve, or to help” – Christina Feist Heilmeier