The whole healthcare system recognizes nurses as the backbone of the industry. They are the frontline workers that keep the operations running and do their best to provide care services to their patients. Hence, it is safe to say that nurses truly dedicate their lives to the service of others. However, it is necessary to note that there can be professional and personal benefits and drawbacks of working as a nurse, as it is with every other profession. For this reason, let us discuss some of the challenges that nurses have to face during their work.
Struggles of Working as a Nurse
1. Inadequate staffing
Nurses are in high demand. However, there are not enough nurses to fulfill this demand. As a result, being short-staffed for a small period of time is actually common in nursing. However, this short-staffing causes greater problems in nursing. For starters, short-staffing can affect patient safety and health. Moreover, it can also impact the nurse’s health as they become more prone to burnout when they have to work harder and longer. As a result, nurses have greater pressure, and their ability to provide quality patient care deteriorates.
2. Mandatory overtime
Because there is so much inadequate staffing at big hospitals, nurses face having to work mandatory overtime hours. Hence, this aspect burdens the nurses more than they already have to bear and simply creates a recipe for burnout. The dark aspect of this practice is that it leaves nurses little to no time for their personal lives. And in case a nurse is pursuing their BSN degree alongside work, they are bound to have their plate overflowing with responsibilities.
There’s little nurses can do in this aspect except manage their time more responsibly. For example, instead of attending proper classes, they can opt for a convenient online BSN program for RNs and continue their education alongside work. It will give them the flexibility of hours they need to maintain a healthy work-life-education balance.
3. Safety on the job
Nurse safety is another issue nurses have to face at work. For example, they can experience health issues during patient handling. The most common personal health injuries are back problems when handling patients. However, the industry is now providing instructional programs on ensuring personal safety while nurses handle their patients.
Apart from that, there are also issues of transference of blood-borne diseases while working on patients or in a laboratory. For this reason, the industry has clear policies and guidelines about the handling and disposal of medical waste.
Joys of Working as a Nurse
Not every profession is gloomy and dangerous. There are many joys of working as a nurse, and they are why many people join the workforce. Some of them include:
1. Making a difference
Nursing is a noble profession that is all about providing care for patients. Hence, nurses perform highly meaningful work that actively helps the community where they provide services. They support individuals and provide healthcare services to patients in pain and need help.
2. Job security and high-demand
Nurses are in high demand in the healthcare industry throughout the world, no matter what changes occur. In fact, recent challenges in the healthcare industry have increased the demand for nurses even more. For example, the aging population has increased the need for more healthcare providers and nurses to manage the patients. Moreover, the recent pandemic has had nurses returning from retirement to help out in healthcare facilities because nurses were too few.
Therefore, as a nurse, you can enjoy the benefit of a stable job and steady income because the industry will always need your professional skills and expertise.
3. Transferable life skills
The skills you acquire while working as a nurse will help you out in your daily life in many other aspects. The reason is that nurses are equipped with many skills during their education and training period. They know how to cope with extremely stressful situations and respond immediately and appropriately with a cool head. Their time in training and working in the emergency ward of healthcare facilities equips them to deal with stressful scenarios.
Moreover, nurses have outstanding people skills, as they deal with patients who come from every walk of life. In addition to that, their empathic and caregiving qualities help them in daily life. Last but not least, these qualities are also transferable and suitable for other professions if they choose to change professions because no matter where they go, their education and training as a nurse will stay with them and help them overcomemany obstacles.
There are very few careers that are as inspiring as nursing. As a nurse, you get the responsibility of saving human lives, and the feats you accomplish doing this work will stay with you for the rest of your life. You will nurse people back to health and deal with all manners of patients. However, you will also experience tragedy and trauma, which is a given in any field that intends to save lives.
Therefore, if you are still choosing a profession, consider all the joys and drawbacks of working as a nurse. Only then will you be able to decide whether the work is suitable for you or not.