How COVID-19 Has Impacted & Affected The Nursing Profession
The outbreak of the 2020 worldwide coronavirus pandemic came as a huge shock to not only ordinary people across the length and breadth of the country and beyond, but also medical professionals.
In the case of nursing staff, especially those who were working on the proverbial front line, the past few years have been, in some cases, the most horrific time of both their professional and personal lives. With this being said, continue reading to learn how COVID-19 has impacted and affected the nursing profession, both temporarily and permanently.
A Virtual Takeover
One of the most obvious and indeed lasting change that nurses had to make in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic was to move any non-essential appointments to virtual, video appointments instead of physical ones.
Undeniably, this change is indeed what some senior executives within the healthcare system is one which they have been encouraging for some time and cyclically, it may well be the case that some took this opportunity to put their plans into action. For nurses, however, whilst recognizing that switching to video appointments was indeed necessary throughout the height of the pandemic, some feel that such appointments lack the intimacy and clarity that physical, in-persons ones do.
Change Of Careers
Another huge and undeniable impact which the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic has had on the nursing profession is to make certain nursing professionals not only question whether they want to continue working as a nurse, but whether they still want to work in medicine and healthcare at all.
If you are currently working as a nurse and are interested in becoming a nurse leader, perhaps to accentuate any changes or innovative forms of treatment, patient care, or staffing issues that you feel are important and even necessary, you should consider enrolling on one of the prestigious online nursing leadership courses available.
In the United States, a recent study conducted at the beginning of 2022 found that more than 400,000 healthcare workers, including not only nurses but many other healthcare professionals, were considering quitting their jobs because of the impact coronavirus had on their working life.
Across the length and breadth of not just this country, but internationally as well, the pandemic meant that most, if not the vast majority of wards were criminally understaffed, and those nurses and other healthcare professionals who could still work were suffering with fatigue, stress and general burnout.
A More Collaborative Approach
Obviously, nursing is a profession which relies on the formation of strong professional working bonds with not only close colleagues, but also across the wider healthcare and medical network.
After the outbreak of the pandemic, one of the more positive changes that nurses have reported is the feeling of a more collaborative and supportive approach to patient treatment and care.
Local health bodies across the country have proverbially banded together to form a kind of ‘hot hub’, which are staffed by medical professionals from different hospitals and other medical buildings in the area. Patients who have either contracted Covid-19 and are isolating at home, or else need to be hospitalized as a result of the virus, can access safe and secure, face-to-face appointments with a substantially reduced waiting time.
The Expansion Of The Nursing Role
Another key way in which the coronavirus pandemic has affected the nursing profession is that it has shed a light on the individual roles of nurses on a ward, and has started to present questions of how and if the role of a working nurse should be adapted and indeed expanded.
The majority of the healthcare department of this country is formed of nurses and healthcare workers, and although much attention and media celebration were placed on nurses who were working in hospital settings, nurses in the public health sector who were ‘on the ground,’ so to speak, were largely neglected.
Now Covid-19 is, for the most past, under more control, mainly due to the various vaccines, senior healthcare executives and professionals are turning their attention to looking at the role of a working nurse through a proverbial microscope.
The Underestimating Of The Nurse
As previously noted, nurses around the world were celebrated and continually praised for their diligence and strength during the height of the pandemic, but it is certainly still true to say that the role of the nurse is still largely underestimated, at least by senior healthcare executives.
Nursing roles involve everything from nurse leadership and health policies, to clinical practice and nursing research, and no other healthcare professional has the same unique perspective on the problems caused by the pandemic than nurses themselves.
There have been several professional movements amongst working nurses, all of which have garnered large amounts of support, to raise the awareness of nurses amongst the medical and healthcare hierarchical system to better support the emotional and physical health of every single nurse, both in this country and beyond.
Skills Required To Become A Nurse In Post-Pandemic Times
If you are someone who either is currently working in another field of healthcare and is now looking into moving to the world of nursing, or else are still completing your college or university education and are deciding which career you would like to move into, then it may well be helpful learn of the primary skills needed to become a nurse.
- An ability to make quick and accurate decisions
- An ability to project a calm and confident demeanor at all times
- Incredibly high levels of emotional and physical stamina
- Excellent organizational skills
- A natural ability to both work together as a team player, and to also lead a team as and when appropriate
- An ability to adapt your people skills depending on the people who you are dealing with
- Communication skills which are unrivalled and are able to be honed to deliver often unsettling or even devastating news to family members of patients
- A strong level of motivation and impressively high energy levels