Picture this scenario: It’s time to upgrade your hospital’s nurse call system. First, you research and select a vendor, then schedule installation, training and Go Live. That’s it, right? Not if you want to take advantage of new technologies available in next generation nurse call communications systems.
Nurses face urgent scenarios every day that require quick thinking. A keen sense of situational awareness—i.e. understanding what’s happening with a patient and what’s likely to happen in the future—is critical to clinical decision-making. However, actually achieving situational awareness is threatened by nurse fatigue, which is dangerous for both clinicians and patients.
As a rule, nurses love their jobs. Despite the demanding, fast-paced environment, many nurses enjoy their career because they get to make a difference, positively impact patients’ lives and help people through vulnerable moments.
Nurses are undeniably the backbone of the hospital. For the last 16 years, nursing has held the highest position on Gallup’s annual survey of the public’s trust in occupation—high above positions such as doctors, lawyers, pharmacists and bankers. And that trust is well-deserved: nurses tend to patients’ wounds, administer medications, educate patients about medical tests and treatments, celebrate births and remarkable recoveries, and provide comfort for those facing disappointing news or hard decisions.
In May 2017, there were 2.9 million registered nurses working in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But that’s not enough to meet future demand, experts say. The BLS estimates that the employment of registered nurses is projected to grow by 15 percent from 2016 to 2026—faster than all other occupations. Why? Not only is the healthcare industry putting more emphasis on preventive care, but the aging baby boomer population and growing rates of chronic conditions are further driving the demand for healthcare. Nurses are also getting older and retiring, and fewer people are entering the profession. Those new to the nursing workforce report a significant level of workplace stress, and surveys of newly licensed hospital nurses reveal that 43 percent leave their jobs within three years of employment.
Amplion has always considered nurses to be the backbone of the hospital, and it has been gratifying to deliver that message to thousands of attendees this week at the HIMSS2018 Conference, the leading healthcare information and technology conference.
Making changes within organizations is always challenging, no matter the industry. Hospitals are no exception. New technologies, regulations and the shift from fee-for-service to value-based payment models are just some of the changes turning healthcare on its head.
Nursing is a challenging profession that requires a lot of time, dedication and commitment. In addition to the fast-paced environment and long hours, nurses also face hurdles such as low compensation, short staffing, potential workplace violence and hazards such as bloodborne pathogens, cold and flu germs, and injuries. It’s not surprising that 82 percent of nurses surveyed by the American Nurses Association reported that they are “at a significant level of risk for workplace stress.” Surveys of newly licensed hospital nurses reveal that 43 percent leave their jobs within three years of employment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we will need 16 percent more nurses by 2024.
Nurses pour so much of their passion and energy into caring for patients that it’s easy for the daily stresses and demands of the job to take a toll. What can hospitals do to alleviate nurse burnout and give nurses a helping hand with their ever-expanding patient care duties?
Real-time Health System (RTHS) technologies like our next-generation nurse call system can step into the gap, improving patient and staff communication while also delivering valuable real-time data and analytics to help balance workloads and alarm fatigue that lead to staff burnout.
Nurses devote their lives to taking care of others, but when it comes to taking care of their own needs, many put themselves on the back burner. Research shows that the best nurses—those driven by compassion, attention to detail and a desire to serve—are the ones most susceptible to burnout from the growing stresses and demands of today’s healthcare environment.