Nurses play a critical role in healthcare, treating patients, ensuring that they get the care and attention they need, educating patients and their families and serving as their primary link to the healthcare system. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have only become more critical in healthcare.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have only become more critical in healthcare. Their roles have adapted and evolved, both in person and with the use of technology. Learn more as we honor and recognize nurses for International Nurses Day.
On International Nurses Day, PRA Health Sciences recognizes nurses all over the globe, including former and current nurses within our company. Nurses’ efforts have a direct impact on the healthcare industry and the world, and it’s important to spread awareness of the dedication and attention they give patients each day.
The Critical Role Nurses Play in Healthcare
Nurses’ roles have evolved more than ever in the last few years. Many factors have contributed to the new expectations placed upon nurses, including:
- Healthcare costs
- Lack of standardization
- Care quality
- Healthcare disparities
- Chronic illness rates
Additionally, new technology, developed to aid nurses and benefit their patients by improving safety and communication have added to the workload in many cases.
Over the years, nurses have worked collaboratively with other discipline leads for the betterment of the patients they treat. Their roles have evolved to directly deal with changes in the healthcare field, both individually and systemically.
Nurses During COVID-19
Throughout the pandemic, nurses were exposed to the threat of illness, occupational hazards, and infection on a daily basis. They’ve directly treated COVID-19 patients daily, maintained sanitization and personal protective equipment (PPE) practices, and made treatment possible for patients.
Nurses needed to adapt to new healthcare regulations and practices—both in person and through telemedicine—that have grown dramatically since the pandemic began. Nurses haven’t been able to maintain social distancing the way the rest of the community have. They’ve faced a lack of medical supplies, including PPE, ventilators, and even hospital beds in many areas of the world.
Nurses have managed patient care in a dynamic, uncertain environment, with regulations and standards of care rapidly evolving as we learned more about COVID-19—often without receiving additional pay or benefits. Throughout the pandemic, however, they received more community support than ever.
This isn’t the first time nurses have been on the frontlines of a health crisis, though few have been as widespread as COVID-19. Nurses have played critical roles in preventing the spread of and treating illnesses like HIV, H1N1, SARS, and Ebola. They have also led response teams during the pandemic. For example, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) published their top priorities for dealing with the pandemic and put out a call to action to fight COVID-19. Nurses have seen firsthand the effects of the pandemic, caring directly for patients and communicating with families.
While PRA’s nurses may not necessarily be on the front lines, they are often working with a vision to broadly expand their impact on patients worldwide, and that they bring with them their nursing compassion to the job.Learn more about how nurses advocate for patients and drive healthcare innovation
What Can We Do to Help Support Nurses Throughout the Pandemic and Beyond?
Following community safety protocols and continuing social distancing help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, reducing the burden on nurses. Because many health crises also create a blood shortage, donating blood helps keep hospitals supplied. Additionally, donating money or resources to hospitals and organizations ensures that nurses have the protection they need to continue their work. Contacting representatives and legislators to demand increased PPE for nurses and other healthcare workers prevents them from having to take dangerous measures like reusing masks due to shortages.
Nurses may also need help in their personal lives. Ask nurses if they need help with errands, meals, childcare, homeschooling or other daily tasks so that everyone remains safe and comfortable. Healthcare represents a global and community effort. PRA recognizes nurses' sacrifices and the enormous role they played since before the start of the pandemic. The community must also participate in the work to keep others around us safe.
PRA has thousands of former nurses on its staff and understands how critical their work is to furthering healthcare innovation, learning more about patient needs, and interacting with patients to increase global health. Use your nursing background to find your calling at PRA.
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