ISSUES AFFECTING NURSING TODAY
ISSUES AFFECTING NURSING TODAY. Nurses are critical in healthcare, and everyone takes pride in their daily services and care. Nurses are expected to spend their days or nights in the hospitals and still return home to care for their families. The nurses have a lot of duties in the healthcare environment besides helping the patients, as they are still expected to update files, assist in procedures and perform other tasks they are delegated. Nursing is associated with many pressure and problems; thus, different issues affect nursing today.
What is the biggest challenge facing nursing leaders today?
Most hospitals work towards saving costs and working within their budgets, thus employing few nurses. There are inadequate nurses; hence those employed are subjected to a hectic workload. For instance, in some countries like Europe, the World Health Organization stated that the available nurses are insufficient to care for the aging population. The shortage of nurses means they do not have enough time to provide essential care to patients and families.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the nursing profession because there was already a nursing shortage, and the hospitals were overwhelmed by the number of patients. In addition, the shortage results in nurses suffering from moral distress, which is associated with burnout and compassion fatigue. The stress is because most nurses feel that they do not provide the necessary care, which drains them emotionally and physically.
- Long Working Hours.
Nurses work long hours to cover the staff shortages, and most end up suffering from fatigue. Long hours and sometimes overtime in the hospital are normal, but we all know that when one is exhausted, one is not working their best. Additionally, nurses are subjected to workplace injuries and illnesses because they are vulnerable to physical and psychosocial stressors. For example, most nurses suffer from musculoskeletal disorders, as most complain about shoulder and back conditions.
- Workplace violence.
Nurses face a lot of assaults which can either be physical, threats, or verbal attacks from their violent patients or clients. The trigger of the aggression and violence of the patient is some patients demanding to leave the facility because of pain or discomfort they are experiencing. Due to the workplace violence nurses face during their working years, most develop a negative psychological impact post-incident. In addition, most healthcare workers fear reporting to work.
- COVID-19 After Effects
The nurses are today facing care delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, most people faced delays or cancellations in their treatments. Most illnesses were not cared for since the pandemic started; thus, today, there is a high demand for screening and late diagnosis, and most of the treatments for most diseases are ineffective. The nurses are forced to work long hours and additional shifts to take care of the care delays.
The traumatic events associated with the pandemic have resulted in stress, emotional exhaustion, and mental illness among the healthcare staff. Nurses’ psychological and physical well-being is affected because they lack enough sleep, do not have relaxation time, and lack a good support system outside their workplace; hence, they are subjected to a heavy workload.
What are the challenges of nurses in the 21st century?
- Lack of Personal Care.
Nursing is a very stressful occupation that can result in a person developing stress-related health problems when they lack personal care. Nurses are expected to spend their day in the hospital taking care of patients, and when they go home, their families also expect some care. Most nurses hardly take time away from work because they have to sacrifice due to staff shortages and the urgent need in the workplace. In most workplaces, taking a day off is never an option.
Nursing is all about caring for people, but unfortunately, some issues are faced. Staff shortage is one of the issues affecting nursing today, primarily due to the pandemic. Nurses are also expected to work long hours, thus lacking personal care time. Every healthcare facility should create time for nurses to be away from their workplace and relax. Hospitals should also hire enough staff and offer training to ensure nurses manage the issues faced today.