In recognition of National Nurses Week from May 6-12, 2023, health systems and organizations across the world are celebrating the hard work and dedication of our nurses. Nurses are the lynchpin that holds together the healthcare system, providing critical care for patients of all backgrounds and ages in settings from emergency rooms and urgent care facilities to schools and call centers.
At Carenet Health, National Nurses Week provides us an opportunity to show our gratitude for the hard work and diligence of our nurses who provide empathetic, life-saving care through our 24/7 nurse advice and triage call line.
Nursing Then and Now
U.S. President Ronald Reagan first signed a proclamation designating May 6th as National Nurses Day in 1982. National Nurses Day was then expanded into National Nurses Week in 1990 by the American Nursing Association. Nurses Week ends every year on May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. Widely considered the founder of modern nursing, she was a leading figure in the formalization of nursing education, establishing the Nightingale School of Nursing in 1860.
What Makes our Carenet Nurses Special
We recognize that nurses are a crucial resource for patients. With current trends including rising consumer demand for healthcare and the industry’s move from a fee-for-service to a pay-for-performance model, the need for high quality, on demand nurse advice and symptom triage has never been more obvious. For this reason, we offer a 24/7 advice and triage call line staffed with experienced nurses. Having an experienced RN team available around the clock for consultation and triage has a range of benefits, from reducing unneeded ED visits and freeing up time for overburdened physician practices to improving patient safety, care access, and satisfaction. Using Carenet’s nurse advice and triage line elevates the quality and speed of service delivery while saving $162 million annually for telehealth clients in care cost avoidance.
Carenet’s nurses are hired with an average of 15 years of clinical experience and five years of experience in telehealth, are experienced in both pediatric and adult care, and receive intensive training on URAC standards, regulatory requirements, HIPAA, technology, and client-specific programs. In addition to their triage skills and medical knowledge, Carenet nurses are hired for their listening skills and empathy. Our nurses become trusted resources for patients, quickly addressing issues and steering patients to the most appropriate care setting.
“I would not have gone to the hospital if the nurse had not told me to,” said one patient who was told by a Carenet nurse to go to the emergency department after experiencing difficulty breathing. “They found blood clots in both my lungs when I went to the ED.”
Other patients shared similar stories reflecting the life-saving impact of Carenet’s nurses: “I went to the emergency room, and it’s a good thing I did,” said a patient who was diagnosed with liver cancer in the ED after calling Carenet’s nurse advice line with abdominal pain. “It was very good I got here when I did…I’m really grateful. The nurse saved my life…It would have been terrible if I had not gone into the ED. This is the second time you’ve saved my life.”
In recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturn, and changing technology and consumer demand have contributed to increasing amounts of burnout and turnover among nurses, leading to significant workforce shortages. Due to these challenges and an aging nursing workforce preparing for retirement, the American Hospital Association predicts that the U.S. will need to hire 200,000 registered nurses (RNs) per year to avoid significant shortages. With these challenges in mind, there’s all the more reason to show appreciation for nurses during Nurses Week and beyond.
Of course, supporting nurses and fostering a healthy nursing workforce should be a year-round initiative for hospitals and health systems. Healthcare organizations support emotional wellness and reduce burnout and turnover among nurses during Nurses Week and beyond through company policies, professional development opportunities, and more:
- Shared decision making: Nurses are on the frontlines of healthcare, providing critical care to patients day-in and day-out. They offer a unique perspective when it comes to making organizational decisions such as new technology investments or policy changes. Not only can including nurses in decision-making improve engagement and reduce turnover, it can have a positive impact on patient care and outcomes as well, as nurses are experts among healthcare professionals on patient needs.
- Wellness resources: Many nurses may experience burnout at some point in their career due to long hours and exposure to difficult emotional situations. To help keep nurses emotionally healthy and prevent burnout, healthcare organizations should offer mental health resources and group events that provide opportunities for nurses to unwind and connect over shared experiences.
- Staffing and time-off policies: Offering nurses enough paid time off is critical to reducing burnout and turnover and ensuring nurses are at their best so that patient care quality doesn’t suffer. In addition to offering time off, healthcare organizations should do their best to promote healthy work-life balance through manageable work hours and workload. Staffing appropriately also helps manage workload for those in the trenches.
- Professional development opportunities: Opportunities for professional development and continued education can help keep nurses engaged and ensure patient care is of the highest quality and informed by all the latest research and methods. Helping nurses grow in their careers through seminars, certification programs, and more is a great way to show that you care and are invested in their futures.
- Leadership mentoring: Having the support of a senior nurse who has years of experience on the frontlines of healthcare under their belt can be a gamechanger. Experienced nurses can be a resource for more junior nurses in many areas, providing emotional support, encouragement, and time-tested advice.
Showing Appreciation During Nurses Week and Beyond
Nurses Week provides a great opportunity for healthcare organizations and the community to show gratitude and appreciation for all that nurses do. By recognizing nurses’ impact, healthcare organizations can increase staff morale and potentially improve recruitment and retention of nurses.
Happy Nurses Week to All the Amazing Nurses at Carenet!
Contact us to learn more about Carenet Health’s 24/7 Nurse Advice and Triage line.
Telehealth Solutions | Carenet Health (carenethealthcare.com)