The Covid-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. When the virus first hit, nobody knew just how long the pandemic would last, or how many people would die as each wave peaked. There have been 46.1 million cases in the US, which have led to 748k deaths. Not surprisingly, this has placed enormous pressure on the healthcare system, and at times hospitals have been forced to turn patients away because no beds or ventilators were available. In this article, we’ll let you know about the Role of Nursing in Response to COVID-19.
The situation in the US has been mirrored all over the world, with countries like the UK and India particularly badly affected. It has led to a lot of pressure on nurses and other healthcare staff. Hospitals have had to contend with staff shortages as nurses caught COVID-19 or were forced to self-isolate because family members were infected. At times, many nurses were working incredibly long shifts with little respite or were unable to take their annual leave because they were covering staff absences.
The pandemic has been hugely stressful for nurses and other medical staff. But it’s not all been bad news.
The Perception of Nursing has Shifted:
One thing that has changed is the public perception of nursing. Before the Covid pandemic, people knew nurses did a good job, but often, nurses were the unsung heroes while doctors were the ones who most people thought of when they pictured a Knight in Shining Armor. It has been very different during the Covid pandemic. Nurses have been working on the frontline, triaging patients, dealing with everyday nursing tasks, and more. It’s not been easy but, thanks to their hard work and selflessness, lives have been saved.
The general public has seen how hard nurses have worked, how they have taken the brunt of the healthcare disaster, and applauded their devotion to their duty. In the UK, families stood on their doorsteps each Thursday night to clap for the NHS in a show of solidarity. Many nurses report receiving kind notes from neighbors, thanking them for doing such a great job in the face of unimaginable pressure.
This extraordinary situation has shown how valuable nurses are. Finally, hard-working nurses can feel appreciated for the sterling work they do every day, which has led to an uptick in applications for student nurses, as people begin to recognize what an important job nursing is. In addition, many nurses who previously left the profession have come back to do their bit for the greater good.
Nursing is at the Centre of Healthcare:
Governments have realized nursing is at the center of a functional healthcare system. Doctors may get all the attention, but nurses do most of the basic care and they are the ones dealing with patients on the front line. Recognition of the amazing work nurses do is likely to lead to a greater level of investment in healthcare.
Already governments have invested in PPC for nurses, to help protect them from the ravages of Covid. However, going forward, we can expect to see more investment in other areas of healthcare, including the training of more nurses and other healthcare staff, to fill the void caused by many older nurses leaving the profession. Read more about Tips For Doing Excellent Nursing Assignments.
The US population is aging. Investment in healthcare cannot be kicked down the road any longer. The impact of the Covid pandemic has illustrated just how vital nurses are to modern healthcare – the country needs more nurses, and it looks like finally, the government agrees.
Nurses are Being Empowered:
Many regulatory barriers dictate what work a nurse can do, but things are changing. The COVID pandemic has highlighted the shortage of medically trained staff in the US healthcare system, and it is becoming increasingly obvious that traditional barriers must be removed if patients are to receive the right level of care. The role of a nurse practitioner is a great example of how nurses can do so much more if they are allowed to, which relieves the burden on doctors and ensures communities have better access to primary healthcare.
Currently, 22 US states allow nurse practitioners to practice without the oversight of a licensed physician. Nurse practitioners can treat patients, order and interpret tests, and even prescribe controlled substances. It makes sense and it ensures many more patients are cared for. COVID has placed such a demand on the healthcare system that it seems likely many more states will remove existing regulatory barriers so nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists can do their jobs to the full capacity of their medical training.
This is great news for nurses with a post-graduate education, or nurses considering applying for accelerated nursing programs from Baylor University.
The Role of Telehealth:
Before the pandemic, telehealth was a thing, but it came to the fore when Covid struck. Patients could no longer attend medical clinics without risking exposure to a deadly virus, and doctors and nurses were at risk of exposure each time they saw a patient. The rise of telehealth has made it easier for nurses to help patients in a low-risk environment. Many clinics have shifted to telehealth because it is safer and they can deal with more patients a day.
The transition hasn’t been an easy one, but routine appointments and checks are well-suited to telemedicine. Patients have better access if they need routine checks, and it means they don’t need to leave their homes to speak to a nurse. Telehealth is here to stay, and as the nursing profession evolves, we are likely to see more nurses conducting routine appointments via virtual platforms.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a transformation in modern nursing. Demand for qualified nurses has never been higher and hospitals all over the world are crying out for nurses in all departments, from emergency rooms to neonatal care and critical care. If you see nursing as your future career and you want a chance to give something back, there has never been a better time to sign up for a nursing degree.