The Ongoing Psychological Needs of Nurses
Nurses still need psychological help. Nurses have been facing immense psychological challenges, as I highlighted in a blog post on Job Career Critic titled ‘Who’s Going To Help Nurses Post Covid‘ and two others on this subject. Since the onset of the pandemic in 2019, we’ve all experienced the pressure that nurses feel, although it may have gone unnoticed in its connection to the broader impact on our lives. Healthcare workers, including nurses, have had to find ways to cope with the staggering number of patients who succumbed to the virus in such a short span.
Coping with the Unimaginable
Many individuals who entered the nursing profession realized it would involve exposure to situations that most of us could never envision. Few can truly withstand the psychological trauma brought about by the scale of death that pandemics can produce. This piece draws from anecdotal evidence and personal experiences, including eight years of dating two nurses. One of them worked in the ICU for premature infants, often sharing the stories of the babies under her care. Despite the emotional toll of losing these infants, she continued to form attachments, highlighting the conflicting emotions healthcare workers may feel about their work.
The Toll on Healthcare Workers and the System
The situation becomes increasingly untenable when you factor in the wave of healthcare workers leaving their jobs in record numbers over the past three years. A case in point is the story featured in CNN about Kaiser Permanente nurses who recently went on strike due to pay issues and staffing concerns. The departure of nurses and doctors without immediate replacements has overwhelmed the healthcare system. Appointments with doctors have become increasingly difficult to secure, and emergency room wait times have surged, resulting in tragic consequences for some patients. This trend is not unique to healthcare but has hit the industry particularly hard.
Addressing the Nursing Shortage
The shortage of nurses is not a new problem; it has surfaced at various points in history. In the early 1970s and in 1986, during my interactions with nurses Cynthia and Francine, they received lucrative offers from hospitals, including relocation assistance, rent payment, and substantial signing bonuses in desirable locations. The current situation has placed the healthcare industry in a challenging position. Job Career Critic has assisted thousands in changing careers for better pay or seeking opportunities that the pandemic created. However, the nursing shortage persists. For those interested in a healthcare career, our website, jobcareercritic.com, offers access to thousands of available positions.
Nurturing Healthcare Workers and Preparing for the Future
Resolving the staffing crisis among nurses could be significantly aided by addressing healthcare workers’ current issues, including providing psychological support. Anecdotal evidence overwhelmingly suggests that it’s in the best interest of Healthcare Corporations to create an infrastructure that nurtures their employees and instills a sense of purpose. Nursing schools should consider incorporating courses that address the trauma associated with mass deaths to prepare new nurses for the challenges of caring for large-scale casualties.
The Looming Healthcare Crisis
Neglecting the problems faced by healthcare workers will only lead to a growing backlog when caring for the largest population in need of medical care the world has ever seen. The impending surge in healthcare demand due to the aging Baby Boomer population must be addressed urgently. As the COVID-19 era persists, with its evolving variants, proper handling and support are essential to prevent healthcare workers from seeking opportunities elsewhere, which would exacerbate the healthcare crisis.
This structured writing provides insights into the ongoing challenges nurses face, the broader implications for the healthcare system, and the urgent need for action to support healthcare workers and address the impending healthcare crisis.