The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of frontline workers more than ever before. While the rest of the world was on lockdown, healthcare professionals never stopped taking care of their patients. Now, even though the severity of the pandemic has decreased, it is still far from over. Despite this, physicians, nurses, dentists, and laboratory staff continue to put their lives at risk in order to save as many lives as possible.
Nurses are among the first people present who interact with the patient. They’re often the first to provide care to the most vulnerable population during a crisis. With no end in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s safe to say that the strain on the healthcare system won’t be eased anytime soon. Nurses are now actively involved with all relevant interventions and will remain key players in stopping the pandemic until it’s over.
To do their job in the best possible way, this is how nurses have started responding to the spread of COVID-19.
1. Continuing Education
Lockdown restrictions during the pandemic caused a massive shift in education. Virtual learning has become the norm and has given students greater flexibility to balance classes, exams, and work. Nurses are now opting for Master’s in Nursing online programs to advance their careers. Online degrees will help them enhance the knowledge and skills required to deal with patients without interfering with their job or other commitments.
If you are looking for an opportunity to further your career, consider enrolling in an online advanced degree program. The demand for healthcare workers will only go up from here, and having the edge over your peers can help you land the job of your dreams.
2. Building Networks
Like most things new, COVID-19 brought a lot of uncertainty with it. The virus spread from country to country in a matter of weeks, and nobody knew how to deal with it, much less understand it. Yet, despite many uncertainties, there was also much hope. Since most healthcare workers have faced the pandemic for the first time in their careers, they lack the experience necessary to help them with this situation. Nurses have started exploring new approaches to solving everyday problems by meeting new people and exchanging ideas globally. By collaborating, different organizations developed treatment plans, sanitization protocols, and standard operating procedures to ensure the best possible care.
Joining a professional network is becoming increasingly crucial in our society. The world is getting more connected by the day, and it’s only logical to learn from the experiences of others. Networking will help advance your career and be a source of constant learning and innovative ideas.
3. Specializing in a Medical Field
Nurses sometimes specialize in specific medical fields to increase their chances of advancement. During an emergency crisis, most people are forced to work outside their comfort zone, allowing them to explore options that they usually would not have considered. Each person has different talents, skills, potentials, and knowledge that enable them to perform in some areas better than others. The pandemic has helped nurses identify the medical field they wish to specialize in to gain relevant understanding and work regarding their choice.
Similarly, if you’re passionate and have the appropriate education, you can specialize in a number of fields.
4. Volunteering for Administrative Roles
Nurses are not just restricted to overseeing the clinical care of their patients but are also in charge of managing the staff at a healthcare facility. With the pandemic underway, there was an extreme shortage of healthcare workers in hospitals and clinics. Most facilities worked with a skeleton crew, consisting of only the most essential employees.
Therefore, the nurses are also tasked with handling the hospital’s administration side. Among their many duties, they managed finances, crested budgies, maintained records, and ensured medical supplies were always available. With so many uncertainties and constantly changing guidelines, this was not an easy job. However, nurses continue to go above and beyond to step up and take charge of whatever their patients require.
Working in administration can give you the experience and skills you need to enhance your resume. Employers like to hire candidates who can take on additional responsibilities, and administrative positions can help you do that.
5. Joining Organizations
Several professional nursing organizations exist that have members from all over the world. These organizations had provided a platform for nurses to share and exchange ideas and strategies when patients most needed them. They have offered nurses to learn from the experiences of similar healthcare professionals and utilize new approaches to provide better care for patients. The majority of organizations organize conferences where like-minded people can network and share information.
Being a member of an organization can speak volumes for your nursing career. Whether you choose to join one in general or one from a specialized field, learning from others like yourself will strengthen your healthcare provider and employee skills.
Like most healthcare professions, COVID-19 has also redefined the role of nurses. To help their patients, they have responded to the pandemic by pursuing higher education, learning new skills, and volunteering for jobs out of their comfort zone. As the need for healthcare workers continues to grow, you can advance your nursing career by following these strategies.