Role of Nurses in COVID 19
We’ve all seen the news clips of nurses fighting back tears as they speak of being the only one in the room with dying COVID patients. How many of them held up their phones so that families could say goodbye to their loved ones remotely.
It’s hard to imagine the pain and sorrow these brave caregivers endure day after day during the pandemic. Yet they keep going, showing up to work even though they are constantly at risk of being infected themselves.
So where do we go from here to ensure that our frontline nurses are not only recognized for their daily heroism, but are fully equipped and totally prepared to continue to perform their critical roles?
The Year of the Nurse
In a January 2021 article, Elsevior, a global information resource for the healthcare community, described the current condition of the nursing profession and offered some real life ideas for empowering and more fully supporting the nursing community.
Designated the Year of the Nurse, 2020 coincided with a pandemic that touched the lives of virtually everyone on the planet. It also highlighted the critical role nurses play in the entire care ecosystem. As frontline workers, nurses are putting themselves at significant risk to care for patients.
The ever-growing numbers are staggering, with over 85 million infections and nearly 2 million deaths. We will need nearly 6 million additional nurses to ensure healthcare standards rise again after the pandemic, according to a 2020 report by the World Health Organization.
But as we move into 2021, what does the future hold for nurses and the nursing profession? The following are some ideas to advance clinical best practices for the nursing community utilizing health information technology.
Expand access to technology in everyday workflows. It’s crucial to make sure end-users, including nurses, are trained and equipped to use these technologies and incorporate them into their patient care activities. Nurses can better care for their patients by gaining greater knowledge of their patients’ relevant information. That knowledge can then be put into action and used in decision-making to improve patient outcomes.
Employ technology to minimize administrative and bureaucratic burdens. With the global shortage of nurses, it is critical to focus on building up the competencies of our existing nursing workforce to ensure nurses are working to their full potential. Healthcare organizations must make a concerted effort to design their technology systems in a way that does not overwhelm the care team with administrative tasks and bureaucratic stress.
Utilize Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to assist in Clinical Decision Support (CDS). EHRs can become significant support systems for nurses. Ease of access to EHRs can provide the right information to nurses to help them make better decisions at the point of care. The adoption of evidence based CDS tools would greatly facilitate clinical decision making. Nursing care would truly be enhanced with this technology being embedded into the everyday workflow.
Recognizing, respecting and investing in nurses to grow into transformative leadership roles. Investing in nurse education and upskilling can enhance competency management, which translates to increased productivity and improved health outcomes.
This becomes even more important as we continue to develop a digitized workforce where digital literacy will remain a pertinent issue. When nurses take on more responsibilities and leadership roles, they tend to feel appreciated and motivated to stay in the field. This helps to attract more talent to the workforce.
Recognition Technology in 2021
As upgrading technology is critical to healthcare delivery, it is just as critical to the appreciation and recognition of nurses and all healthcare workers. You will need a robust recognition technology platform to meet all the challenges of 2021 and beyond. Your staff deserves best practices in recognition technology. This is what we do. Let us help.