Nurses experience many challenges in hospitals. One of the most challenging tasks they face is ensuring that patients get their prescribed medication on time. So it’s imperative these nurses know exactly how and when each drug should be administered. At the same time, avoid any mix-ups or confusion about what drugs some may be allergic to.
Patients are not easy to deal with, and it’s a given since most of them come in poor health for a checkup. The increased pain and the lack of immediate attention can make you grumpy. Nursing is challenging, requiring agility and patience to navigate the healthcare system to emerge as a professional. Nurses have many expectations, as they have to perform while maintaining their health in pristine condition.
Ideally, a nurse can handle it all, but realistically, that is not the case. Most nurses struggle to make ends meet, and it’s not easy to get help when no help is available. Therefore, the healthcare sector must acknowledge nurses and nursing as a profession. Here are some common challenges faced by nurses as they work in a hospital:
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1. There Is A Shortage In Staffing
Shortage in staff entails that fewer members will have to shoulder the workload. In most cases, nurses take care of all the duties that need tending to. They need to manage tedious and complex issues and stay back to monitor patients. Consequently, nurses grow both tired and burnt out by the weight of their work. Hospitals need to start looking into more staffing, or they’ll lose their little staff.
2. Difference In Skills
Nurses have various skills; some may be more inclined toward medical severity. In contrast, others enjoy providing home visits to patients who could benefit from the care and kindness provided there. Registered nurses have the skills and the knowledge but require supervision from a senior. If we compare a registered nurse to a nurse practitioner from a career perspective, the latter can provide many benefits. These practitioners are specialists and have the autonomy to attend to most cases. However, not every nurse is a practitioner, which can be restrictive. The difference in skills makes it hard for nurses to practice with complete autonomy. They need to make sure they keep tabs on junior nurses and help them learn how to make records. Nurses who are entirely new to the field may struggle heavily to find their footing in the sector. While most nurses are encouraged to upgrade their skills, it takes time and patience.
3. Patients May Not Cooperate
There are many reasons why patients may refuse treatment. Not every patient is willing to listen to or work with a nurse. Such patients can make administration care harder on nurses. It could be because they’re uncomfortable with the nurse they’re working with. It could also be a case of a language barrier, or maybe the patient is in too much pain to care. In such cases, the medical sector should provide emergency intervention to help nurses handle their tasks. These can be in a language interpretation and providing a substitute nurse if the patient is unhappy.
4. Health Is At Risk
Nurses have to work with cases that may have transmissible diseases. They must be careful when taking blood, administering injections, or breathing around patients. They never know when they can catch the disease from the patient. Airborne illnesses are highly contagious. All it takes is living around sick patients, enough to get you sick. While nurses may have PPEs after the pandemic of 2019, there has been a massive shortage of PPEs, so most nurses end up jeopardizing their health to care for patients. It is dangerous for nurses who get sick because they can pass it around to other practitioners. The worst case scenario is when a nurse can’t handle their illness, and it takes a toll on their system.
5. Feelings Of Isolation and Loneliness
If nurses are working long hours, they may be away from home for long. In such cases, they may not see their kids and family. When staying away from home becomes a habit, they can feel isolated and alone. These emotions can soon translate into depression and anxiety. If a nurse’s mental health is in shambles, they can’t provide care. They may start neglecting their duties and not looking after the patients they’re supposed to treat as correctly as they should. Depression and anxiety can also make you collapse at work, which can cause severe damage to a nurse’s health.
6. Irregularities In Records
Nurses must stay on top of the records they make on every patient. There are cases when there may be irregularities in the records submitted. These can happen due to simple oversight and a lack of attention to detail. These also occur when nurses are stressed or new to the job. In any case, the files need fixing, and if they go on record with an error, it can hurt the hospital. This is why most nurses get accustomed to checking and rechecking with patients to prevent mistaken forms.
7. Workplace Harassment
Unfortunately, despite what a nurse’s job is, they may face workplace harassment. These arise on many occasions. Some perpetrators are doctors, while some are patients. Harassment can be sexual or bullying. A nurse may get cornered, groped, or even uncomfortable with lewd comments. Bullying includes pulling ranks on a nurse and expecting them to comply. It also includes taking credit for their work and dismissing any suggestions they have. Patients may bully nurses by not allowing them to do their job and resorting to slurs and violence. Workplace harassment is a severe cause for concern. For many nurses, it is a reason to quit their jobs. For many, it drives them into a hard place to deal with an unprofessional environment. It is also not easy to prove cases of Harassment as hospitals ask for evidence. The court cases can get daunting and even financially exhausting.
8. Not Enough Breaks
If nurses are working around the clock, they’ll get tired. In addition to getting tired, nurses may not get enough time to sleep. These factors may wear them down and push them to stop working. They may also not get enough to have their meals, which can cause many severe health issues. On the hospital’s side, neglect of their health can cause a case of brutal mistreatment. Nurses need humane working conditions to do their job. While in emergencies, it’s understandable that nurses may need to push aside their needs; however, that shouldn’t be the case in chronic cases.
Nurses face many challenges when it comes to healthcare. These challenges can make it hard for nurses to do their job. It also makes nurses quit their jobs or file a lawsuit. Hospitals are undoubtedly crowded spaces. While nurses work, they have immense pressure to perform well. If they cannot function correctly, they’re answerable for their lack of commitment to the field. However, dedication is not the problem here. Nurses are overworked, harassed, and even exhausted with the pile loaded on them. So when hospitals start paying attention to these factors, there can be change.