from Rose Watsoncontent specialist, VirtuSense
Twitter: @VirtuSense

Here is a familiar tale:

Your hospital’s intensive care unit has only 50% of the medical staff, but all the beds are full. There’s a waiting room downstairs full of people. Some were there all night. Some arrived early this morning. And statistically, some most likely have COVID-19. Some of the people waiting to be accepted are angry about the wait and almost all are scared. The morning shift of nurses begins to arrive. They see the waiting room and even if they haven’t guessed before, they know it will be a long day. All days are long.

The faces of the nurses are painted and tightened under their masks. Two years passed quickly in COVID-19, and even before that the staff was small. At the beginning of the pandemic, many experienced nurses knew it was time to withdraw. They had been on the floor for 30-35 years and wanted to leave before things got worse – not knowing how bad it would be. So, 30+ years of experience left the wing. New graduate nurses were harder to find, but a few got involved and began to orient themselves. Ten months later, they were gone. Some cited mental health, family worries and fear. Others said they had watched their mentors go to higher-paying jobs for road nurses or felt that any question they asked was an inconvenience to the overworked team that remained. They all cited burnout. The hospital had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on admission and had fewer nurses than before. They had to reduce the capacity again and the waiting room was full.

Interruption of the cycle

How can hospitals interrupt the staffing cycle? Many organizations have hired travel nurses as an intermediate measure, but these skyrocketing salaries are unsustainable, and eventually each travel nurse will move on to her next contract. However, innovative technology can be a flexible solution to bridging the gap, bringing trained professionals back into the industry (the new nursing economy) and taking tasks away from staff on the floor, allowing them to focus on care: introducing Telenursing .

Telesurgery brings a new level of flexibility to the roles of nurses and allows hospitals to diversify their nursing teams for specific tasks. These virtual, remote roles can be used by trained professionals who have left nurses due to burnout, retirement, injury, or family needs, but who still have a passion for treating patients. And with VirtuSense’s acute solution, VSTOne, digital nurses are seamlessly integrated into any hospital room, using HIPAA-compatible audio and video built directly into the remote monitoring and telemetry system.

Step 1: Effective teams

Hospitals can use telemedicine to create effective teams that focus on specific tasks, removing these responsibilities from floor staff. For example, a digital team of nurses can take over the admission and discharge processes of patients, saving nurses hours of work each day. Having a digital team that handles tasks such as taking patient histories, coordinating medications, providing information, arranging discharge approvals, confirming ongoing care with case managers, and communicating with the patient and family about their discharge, ensures that patients receive more self-care – once with carers and admission and discharge are treated as a priority. This ensures that the beds are turned efficiently for new patients, increasing the capacity of the hospital and directing people to care.

Moreover, telemedicines can become the main contact for patients and their families. In hospitals, nurses have the most face-to-face communication with patients. As staff shortages reduce contact time, patients may feel fired, confused, or helpless. Digital nurses can intervene to connect with patients and families through video call checks, without the pressure to respond to an emergency for another patient. This improves hospital relationships with patients and creates more confidence and comfort during care.

Step 2: Inclusion and detention mentoring

VSTOne Telescoping also creates a structure for a deliberate nursing adaptation program that does not rely solely on ward nurses to mentor new employees while coping with a full workload of patients. Virtual mentors and mentors can be present with new nurses through video calls to patient rooms, allowing new nurses to ask questions and receive feedback while caring for patients. An ideal transitional role for senior nurses who have the most experience to share, virtual mentors monitor new nurses and capture mistakes, protecting patients and the hospital from liability. As the trainee nurse becomes more confident and comfortable, the virtual mentor can take on a more central role by providing second opinions, directing the use of high-risk drugs and advising on best nursing practices, as well as subjective and objective evaluations. .

This individual support allows graduate nurses to immerse themselves in practical nursing with a well-informed guide to share their experiences. With established support, new nurses will feel empowered to learn and grow in their hospital, stay in the nursing field, and thrive as confident, effective nurses who connect with their hospital community instead of being alienated. from her.

The healthcare industry is seeing more and more technology woven into standard processes and procedures, often to the benefit of patients, nurses, doctors and administrators. The full use of the telehealth model for nurses is the first step towards creating a new framework for nursing by expanding roles and diversifying responsibilities. The shortage of nurses requires hospitals to take steps today to support their nursing teams, and with labor shortages, technology can be a powerful tool to bridge the gap and begin to climb back to normal hospital capacity.

This article was originally published on VirtuSense blog and is republished here with permission.


The Telenursing Revolution: Increasing Capacity with Technology

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