By A.J. Kaufman
May is National Nurses Month, set up to honor the 3 million men and women who dedicate their careers to the increasingly important profession.
Research and anecdotal evidence show the biggest challenge for nurses across the country right now is burnout. This likely stems from the origins of COVID-19, where nurses have consistently been on the frontlines. Nurses are also seeing more new patients than ever, and that was especially true during the height of the pandemic.
Long-time HMG Regional Nurse Manager Barsha Grant has been in the healthcare industry for three decades. Grant said maintaining trust is a a key to being an effective nurse.
“As a nurse, you want your patients to trust that you’re doing the right thing for them, which means you also have to be able to trust the team you work with so that, together, you can do the best for your patients,” Grant explained. “Ultimately, you won’t always control what is going on, but as long as you work with your team and rely on each other you’ll do the best you can.”
Like many occupations, nursing is an ever-changing one — not just with navigating new systems, charts, apps and internet patient portals — as more people turn to nurses for guidance now than in the past. Nurses believe that communication has become more important than before, and especially during trying times, they must be extremely comfortable communicating with patients and offer them assistance.
Though nurses enjoy many positives — job security, good pay and benefits, advancement opportunities — troubling signs come from a 2022 study by technology-based nursing hiring platform Incredible Health that made the rounds.
The survey of 2,500 nurses revealed that more than one in three nurses believe they are “very likely” to leave their jobs in the next year. And it’s probably not due to the 16,000+ steps the average nurse takes in one shift.
Some cited burnout and a high-stress environment, but well over half claimed they do not feel appreciated by the community or even reported verbal or physical assaults by a patient or a patient’s family member in the last year.
Yet nearly half of all nurses started a new nursing role since January 2021, and the majority of those said the main reason they chose it was higher pay.
It will take time and further anecdotal or statistical information to tell if those stances come to fruition. For now, make it a point to thank a local nurse for the important work they do each day.