COVID - Long Term Impact on Nursing Care
“ To do what no one else will do, in a way nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through, that is what it is to be a nurse”- Rawsi Williams
The COVID- 19 pandemic has highlighted the fragility of the health care system all over the world . And if there is one area of agreement, it is that it has failed. Users and providers have experienced bitterly, and often with tragic consequences, the complete inability of the healthcare system, to cope with large scale outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Henceforth, nursing care, in particular, will be looked at differently. The perception about the frontline healthcare warriors, especially nurses, will change and along with it will change the way nursing is looked upon as a service and a career .
The impact on nursing services in the future may be as follows:
Tele nursing services will come to stay, wherein nurses will need to develop an on line therapeutic relationship with a lot more patients. While empathetic ‘hi-touch‘ nursing will continue to be vital, ‘hi-tech’ nursing will receive a fillip.
The shortage of nurses will continue as nursing as a profession, will be increasingly considered an occupational risk thus reducing its prospects as a career option.
The altruistic nature of nursing care may not be the only factor that will appeal to the nursing cadre. Risk mitigation, compensation and meaningful employee benefits will receive greater attention.
In light of the shortages of physicians , the urgent need for appointing nurse practitioners has once again come to the fore. The hitherto inertial health universities, are now likely to approve the conducting of nurse practitioner training courses to bolster efforts to make-up for the shortage of physicians
Higher education will receive more attention, with particular emphasis on
- Specialised nursing
- Geriatric care
- Mental health nursing care
- Nurse trainers
The population of male nurses will increase as nurses will be called upon to be more mobile and open for transfer to facilities where there is a pressing need.
Nursing salaries would finally see the desired growth. While baseline salaries are all set to be ramped-up, compensation elements such as Hazard Allowance may be introduced. Benefits and perquisites such as Life and Health Insurance coverage will also be enhanced.
Nurses are on the frontline of evaluating and administering treatment. For a patient, nurses are their greatest advocate. Since they spend more time with the patient, nurses can moderate their progress. They also provide invaluable emotional support. They understand the complexities of an illness. They can counsel the patient and family on everything from understanding a chronic condition to coping with death. Nursing as a calling will undergo major changes as a result of its experience in handling the pandemic.