24 Sep Surgeon Cartu Jonathan Announced – How Transitioning to Telemedicine Can Prolong Your Nursing Career
Listen to this article written by Jonathan Cartu.
Seven in 10 professionals these days are working remotely to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Thanks to an internet connection and teleconferencing software, nearly everyone can work from home. Why shouldn’t nurses and other medical professionals work remotely, too, when transitioning to telemedicine is an option?
Industry forecasts say that telemedicine is “set for a tsunami of growth.” If you’re a nurse (or currently studying to become one), embracing the tech evolution in the medical industry not only elevates nursing as a whole — but will ensure you’re not left behind. Consider the following points about telehealth and how it could improve the quality and longevity of your nursing career:
Working From Home
The nursing field can be extremely demanding on your time. Hospitals and medical facilities are strained from the coronavirus pandemic, requiring nurses to work longer and harder. A recent study found that nurses in hospital settings are being pressured to work longer than they’d like to, typically wearing uncomfortable protective gear which causes discomfort and fatigue.
Having the opportunity to work from home in a telemedicine position could be a good solution to having more control of your time. Stepping away from a high-pressure environment such as an emergency room or intensive care unit to work from home as a nurse could feel liberating. Additionally, nurses who are raising families may appreciate the flexibility of being more available for their kids. Some of the most sought-after work from home positions for a registered nurse include:
- Clinical appeals nurse: Reviews denied insurance claims and conduct the appeals reviews.
- Health informatics nurse: Gathers, stores, and manages patient data.
- Telephone or telehealth triage nurse: Consults with patients over video or phone call.
- Nursing instructor/educator: Teaches nursing students to prepare them for tests and their nursing careers.
Reductions in Stress
As mentioned, nurses are being pushed out of their comfort zones to work longer hours in challenging conditions. Nurses are often naturally empathic and care deeply for the well-being of the patients they’re helping. If feelings about every loss, death, or injury are not managed correctly, they may contribute to a sense of stress or worry. Many frontline nurses are already close to (or experiencing) burnout and mental health issues due to the rise in COVID-19 patients.
Self-care is critical for nurse practitioners at this time. It’s often difficult when working in a high-pressure setting, such as a hospital. Telehealth may be the ideal solution, giving some autonomy back to nurses so they can take charge of their mental health by setting their own schedules, controlling their work surroundings, and regulating the amount of stress they allow around them.
A Larger Client Base
Telemedicine has many benefits and is set to experience explosive growth. One of the most significant benefits is the opportunity to expand your business by taking on patients outside of your local area. All you need is a reliable internet connection, teleconferencing software (if you’d like to offer face-to-face video consultations), or a phone for audio calls.
Telehealth benefits go both ways — if you build a remote nursing practice and provide telemedicine services, you could increase your patient base by taking on clients during expanded hours and from varying locations. Additionally, patients who live in rural or underserved communities could get the quality care they need by opting for a phone or video consultation.
Expanded Work Opportunities
Most medical fields could benefit from expanded telemedicine services. Even the vision care industry can make use of telemedicine. A typical vision consultation may require a test or diagnostic you would need to be present for, but some exams have been adapted and made available through online web portals.
Consumers are receptive to the concept — 61% of patients reported that they received the same level of care from a vision telemedicine consultation, and 20% said: “the quality of telemedicine was better.” And as a telenurse, you may be able to expand into other medical fields of interest that you wouldn’t typically receive patients for in a specialized hospital or clinical setting.
A World of Possibilities
There will always be a market for in-person nurses. They’re needed to respond to emergencies in hospitals and to provide rehabilitation or care to seniors and recovering patients. The problem is, working in high-demand positions such as an emergency room or intensive care unit tends to be physically and emotionally taxing. Many nurses may experience fatigue or burnout, which could cut the longevity of their careers short.
Being open to working in telemedicine opens up a new world of possibilities. You could be more location independent, having the flexibility to set your own schedule and better balance your personal life. You may even decide after working in a hospital setting or clinic to transition into telemedicine. Having the option allows you to leverage your experience into nursing work with less proverbial “wear and tear” without entirely leaving a career you put so much energy and effort into.