Leaving Bedside Nursing, Why Is This Occurring In The Year 2022?: As a certified practical nurse prior to the pandemic, Brittany Kennedy filled in as needed for a family and their young child, picking up shifts as she saw fit. At a time when the spread of COVID-19 was fueling panic among the workforce, Kennedy was sent back to the frontlines in order to provide for her family’s needs.
Leaving Bedside Nursing, Why Is This Occurring In The Year 2022?
What She Found Was A Disaster
While working in Philadelphia-area nursing homes, Kennedy says he encountered a lack of PPE in every facility. In order to keep ourselves safe, we couldn’t treat these patients the way we wanted to.
She recalls donning N-95 masks, goggles, gloves, and face shields in the passageways between patients’ rooms. Because of the statewide scarcity, Brittany had to take off layer after layer of PPE between each patient visit to wash her hands and sterilise herself.
Due to the pressure, other nurses began missing rounds, forcing staff like Kennedy to stay on until suitable relief arrived. Nurses often refer to necessary overtime as being “mandated.” Hospitals cannot mandate overtime unless there is a medical emergency, such as a pandemic.
“It happens.” “You’re already exhausted from this process, and now you have to do another eight hours.” Kennedy and her colleagues nurses were used to understaffed hospitals and nursing homes, but the epidemic exacerbated the problem, leaving them helpless.
COVID Keeps Patients Out Of Nursing Homes
The extra stress prompted many healthcare personnel to lose enthusiasm for their jobs. That, with the understanding that they could make as much — if not more — on unemployment, bode disaster for both personnel and patients.
“They were paid the same whether they worked or not,” Kennedy recalls. “I know a few people who won’t return to long-term care because of COVID. They just don’t do it. It was a tough year.” By their second year in the job, 33 percent of nurses quit the bedside due to exhaustion, according to data from nursing agency IntelyCare.
Following the pandemic, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 500,000 seasoned nurses will retire by the end of 2022, resulting in a 1.1 million nursing shortfall. The pandemic has expedited the mass migration by nearly two decades, says David Coppin, founder and CEO of IntelyCare, a digital nurse staffing firm. The culprits, according to Coppin, are nursing institutions.
“The hospitals are driving the nursing shortage,” adds Coppin. “The nursing model is broken — they can’t handle it. They feel continuously on call, even if they aren’t.”
Who Looks After The Caregivers?
Earlier this year, Erin Clifford, a nursing apprentice, sensed a panic attack building on during one of her hospital shifts. She went to the ER, where she was given a dose of the anxiety medicine Ativan and told she couldn’t drive or work.
Clifford went home after informing her understanding coworkers about the doctor’s directions. Her nursing director was less accommodating.
“She said, ‘You left the floor short-staffed that day and didn’t find a replacement?’” Clair says. “That surprised me. ‘Are you okay? What happened? Were you hurt? Was there an injury?’ “There was no general humanity.”
Clifford had two shifts left at that hospital, and she called out for both. Moving forward with her nursing career, she says she’s enthusiastic about the future — but the lack of empathy is still fresh in her mind, and she hopes to see a change.
“I don’t want to say it’s been ignored,” she adds of nurses’ calls for a fairer workplace. “But it falls on deaf ears who hear it, see it, and write it down, but they’re scared to upset the people who give them their budget and money. But that’s not the point.”
76 percent of nurses share Clifford and Kennedy’s fatigue. One-fifth of individuals departing their jobs mention insufficient staffing levels as their main reason, followed by job demands, mental stress, and lack of support from supervisors (Mckinsey poll).
“We do the nasty work,” Kennedy explains. “Other people’s actions affect our life, and they keep adding to our workload – it’s unrealistic. Now it’s much more stressful.”
A Scramble For Ideas | Leaving Bedside Nursing
Nurses must retake control of their schedules to avoid overwork, says Intely’s chief clinical officer and registered nurse Rebecca Love. People will die if the industry continues on its current path, she warns.
In the pandemic, Texas suffered a nursing shortage that left 23,000 nursing posts unfilled, according to a Texas Workforce Commission workforce report. “You see ERs with inadequate staffing. Patients will perish due to a lack of providers, say hospital medical officers.
To relieve local institutions overburdened by COVID, Texas began spending $5.36 billion in federal disaster money in April 2020. In August 2021, instances and deaths were steadily growing in Texas.
“We’ve never seen such high levels of burnout, stress, and trauma on these providers,” Love says. ‘Oh but you’re a nurse. You must constantly deal with death.’ And we do, but not on this scale or with the terrible form in which individuals die in front of us.”
Now that the pandemic is winding down and fatality rates are falling, this workforce can rest easy. But we’re still learning about COVID’s repercussions, Love says. Nurses are keenly aware that they work for a system that cannot support them.
“The seriousness of this crisis is astronomical,” Love says. Because we continued expecting there would always be more nurses, hospitals are so focused on saving patients’ lives that they aren’t coming up with good solutions.
According to a new study by Press Ganey, a leader in healthcare consumer and employee engagement, nurses under 35 who have been with their current company for less than a year are most likely to leave willingly. New hires are the most likely to leave owing to poor ties with their team, managers, or company.
Gaining More Control
To address the issue, organisations like IntelyCare are working to reclaim nurses’ autonomy. The nursing agency allows nurses to work as W2 employees with full benefits, but pick when and where they work via a digital app. Facilities send Intely their open shifts, and Intely matches them with available nurses.
These remedies have an immediate effect. Kennedy has been an Intely nurse for two years, and while she still gets burnt out, she feels she has more freedom and control than most nurses. As an agency worker, she isn’t bound to one location or timetable. Also, a third-party team monitors her hours to ensure she isn’t working too many.
Kennedy admits she has considered leaving her beloved career since the positives don’t always outweigh the cons. Not for the faint of heart, she warns, and the business is struggling to keep up. Simply put, nobody can do this work, she says. It’s not like when I started, it’s completely different. Despite my passion for caring for others, I’m not sure I want to be a nurse anymore.
But for now, Kennedy is treading carefully, unable to shake her enthusiasm for the task at hand In the future. Also, she hopes that the sector will evolve, and that additional services will be accessible to support her as a worker. The elderly, sick, and indigent are among her clients. “I do it for them.” In the end, I’m here for my patients.”