Nursing forms the beating heart of medical healthcare systems all around the world. Whether it is large hospitals or small town clinics, the role of nurses can’t be overlooked.
Well-trained and skilled nurses form the foundation for a stable healthcare system. Due to such high demand for nurses, it has become quite a high-pressure job.
Many challenges have been present since the beginning of the field. What makes the matter complex is the fact that these challenges have evolved.
From the mid-1800s to the current century, nurses continue to face issues.
Nurses everywhere find themselves working overtime or facing issues like a staff shortage or hazardous workplace conditions.
Despite dedicating many hours to providing effective care to the patients, these caretakers often don’t meet their basic requirements.
The following article shall cover all the difficulties nurses face in their everyday lives. To facilitate the reader, some solutions are suggested below, alongside the respective challenges in the field.
- Short Staff
Understaffing is one of the global issues that nurses face worldwide. Reports from many developed countries indicate an exceedingly high ratio of patients to nurses.
The challenge is common in nearly all the fields. However, in nursing, short staffing can become a matter of life and death, especially in hospitals, a shortage of nursing staff can adversely affect patient health and safety.
Nurses often find themselves suffering from fatigue and hampered ability to provide care. Due to understaffing, nurses feel the brunt of mandatory overtime.
They cannot exercise the necessary patient care if they are overworked themselves.
The problem rears its ugly head, especially in nursing homes where the demands of the elderly have to be met.
Shortage of adequate nursing staff can easily lead to nursing home negligence, a problem that has unfortunately become quite common.
The most obvious solution to such a predicament is hiring more staff. It can lead to the availability of more capable healthcare staff.
Experts recommend registering in relevant online courses for nurses to enhance their skillset.
- Demanding Workplace and Patients
Healthcare is evolving and changing at a fast pace. Nurses working in different fields often transform their duties from conventional roles.
It can make the workplace quite challenging for them. Whether it is working long hours due to understaffing or dealing with demanding patients, nurses have to face all the difficulties of their workplace.
In some cases, the patients’ loved ones can give the nurses a tough time. The issue is quite apparent, especially for the nurses working in old homes.
It is quite challenging to deal with older patients. Their requirements are often unclear, turning simple patient care into a complex matter.
Nurses can make things easier by listening to and understanding their difficult patients in such a situation. Nurses can further deal with challenging environments and transform duties by leveling up their skills.
The best way to do so is to register for online courses. Nurses can also enroll in relevant training to prepare themselves for a dynamic healthcare setting.
- Long Shifts
Ten-hour shifts to twelve-hour shifts are part of the regular nursing job. It is worthy of mention that these shifts can end up even longer due to unnecessary administrative tasks or other procedures.
The adverse effects of these long shifts are very similar to the ones faced due to understaffing issues. It is common to see nurses burdened with tasks beyond their traditional roles.
Extended hour shifts are quite taxing, both physically and mentally. Nurses frequently working long shifts end up with chronic pains and issues.
It can lead to sleep disturbances and, subsequently, reduced performance. In a field like healthcare, nurses’ health directly affects the health of the patients.
Hampered performance can easily lead to a lack of effective care for patients. In critical issues, it can lead to fatal situations.
To cater to such an issue, experts recommend the education and training of managers. Nurses wanting to inflict a positive change can consider taking up the roles of administrator nurses.
- Workplace Hazards
Nurses often have to deal with needles, syringes, or delicate healthcare equipment during daily hours.
It requires professional handling, the lack of which can easily become quite hazardous.
Where other field professionals have the luxury of committing mistakes, nurses have to be extremely careful.
There is an entire range of biological, physical, and chemical hazards nurses have to face on an everyday basis.
Whether exposure to harmful chemicals or handling patients with infectious diseases, nurses have to take care of many safety factors.
The best way to deal with workplace hazards is to put on safety equipment like gloves, masks, and gowns. In addition, nurses dealing with chemicals or machinery should read safety instructions thoroughly.
Healthcare professionals also recommend a better understanding of one’s environment and safety measures.
- Emotional Attachments
Nursing is a difficult profession, not just because of conventional challenges but also because of emotional matters.
A nurse can form an attachment with a patient. Unfortunately, the medical field is erratic, and the aspect of someone departing is a common occurrence.
When that patient passes, it can take an emotional toll on the care provider. Becoming mentally invested in someone to lose them is not an easy feeling.
Nurses going through such turmoil should actively seek a strong emotional support system. Sparing time for therapy or professional counselors can help alleviate feelings of loss and pain.
- Lack of Self-Care
Too often, nurses have to deal with an unmanageable workload. It is quite common for professional care providers to neglect their own needs.
It is especially common in the case of extended shifts and demanding workplaces.
During the pandemic, the lack of self-care proved hazardous for both nurses and the patients.
It can easily lead to professional burnout as well as chronic diseases. Though the situation has changed, the consequences of neglecting self-care have not.
Nurses should engage in healthy activities like meditation, sports, or fun activities to avoid burnout. Taking breaks is highly recommended, especially in the nursing profession.
Besides recharging through self-care activities, nurses should also do regular medical checkups to stay in peak health.
Nursing is a demanding profession. Due to changing healthcare needs, nurses have to keep up with the new trends and cater to their patient’s complex needs.
Due to evolving patient care and many other reasons, nurses face many issues daily. Some of these issues are shortage of staff, overtime work, workplace safety hazards, and demanding patients.
Nurses need to practice quality self-care and exercise extra care in their regular work to overcome these challenges.