COVID-19 is remodeling our world. We don’t know when the crisis will end, but the world will never be the same by the time it does. However, one of our greatest assets in stapling the effects of the pandemic lies within the healthcare sector; nurses. Nurses go above and beyond the call of duty. They have this insatiable habit of caring for others on the promise of “leaving no man behind.” But unfortunately, things aren’t settling down, and more severe challenges keep on approaching.
While nurses play a critical role in such a pandemic, most of them encounter high-risk situations, including posttraumatic stress. In addition to dealing with these health hazards, nurses all over the globe are facing numerous challenges. Yet, regardless of the situation, it is without a doubt that these professionals have done what they always do, strep right in and make it work. This is what it means to be a hero.
Since the healthcare field is in a constant state of flux, factors like systematic racism, shortage of supplies, and economy have an enormous impact on the nursing profession. And with the most demoralizing public health emergency in a century, nursing practitioners face an array of challenges. Let’s discuss them in detail.
1. Shortage of nurses
Currently, there are 3.9 nurses in the United States of America. According to an estimate, there is a shortage of one million additional nursing professionals to stand in the face of the pandemic in 2021 alone. So if you’re waiting for an opportunity to aim for higher education, now might be the best time because hospitals need you. Thanks to virtual learning opportunities, you now have a plethora of degree programs to choose from. That said, if you’re a registered nurse looking for a leg up on your career, a master of science in nursing online will help you in becoming eligible for administrative positions. What’s even better, you can serve society with your impeccable skills and help save lives.
Even before the pandemic began, several states were already facing a decent decline in the number of nurses available. Therefore, higher mortality and morbidity rates. In hospitals with high-patient-to-nurse ratios, nursing practitioners experience dissatisfaction, burnout; hence, the failure-to-rescue rates increase. The situation is even worse now that there’s a pandemic.
2. Uncertainty and Emergencies
As thousands of plague-ridden patients are flooding the hospitals worldwide, there will be a significant demand for nurses, particularly for intensive care units and emergency rooms. Yet, even as the hospitals rush to fill in hundreds of “emergency” nursing job positions, nurses standing on the borders are now increasingly well-worn. In addition, nursing practitioners in care units are caring for massive numbers of patients at a time. Each of these conditions makes it harder to maintain the same level of integrity and care.
Global shortages of respirators, gowns, and face shields, caused by surging supply chain disruptions have made it hazardous for nurses to operate around patients, particularly the elderly. Since we’re on the topic of comprehensive care across all ages and gender, nursing practitioners can master the art of continual care by studying for it without having to compromise between work and life. An online MSN FNP program will help you practice family medicine and provide professional care to people of all ages.
3. PPE Shortages and Face Masks
As the cases of COVID-19 are increasing in the United States, numerous facilities and states reported they were experiencing shortages of PPE and critical surgical masks. That serves as a significant challenge for nurses because they are the first to encounter patients before doctors.
Nurses and other healthcare workers need this protective gear to protect their patients and themselves from coronavirus. Unfortunately, the rising demand for PPE has disrupted the global source of PPE. The World Health Organization implemented a 40% global increase in PPE manufacturing to close the gaps. Without secure stock, the risk to healthcare workers surrounding the world is real. That said, governments and industries must act quickly to improve supply, put measures in place to prevent hoarding and speculation, and ease care.
4. Decreased jobs and hours
On the other side of the spectrum are nurses working in multiple subdivisions that have not been considered acute units. An expanding number of these nurses lose their jobs or take a break from work due to burnout. In addition, as more non-urgent or elective medical procedures are delaying in response to the coronavirus outbreak, numerous hospitals have experienced a colossal lack of income.
When looking to minimize costs, more nursing practitioners have to stay home without pay by the healthcare organizations that employ them. Therefore, nurses have been furloughed, experienced cuts to their hours, or even been laid off. Yet, even as COVID-19 nurses face these challenges daily, their critical role in the battle against COVID-19 cannot be overstretched.
If the coronavirus epidemic made anything clear, it is the point that nurses will forever remain the backbone of the global healthcare system. Nurses are on the front line against all kinds of challenges that the coronavirus pandemic is putting forward. We can only hope for things to get better; until then, thank you, nurses, for putting yourself in the way of danger to safeguard others, to save the public.
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