With this year's National Nurses Week drawing to a close, we want to highlight the vital role nurses play in delivering care, promoting health equity, and making a difference in everyone they come into contact with. Today and every day, we should recognize and celebrate the nursing communities and the work they do.
We spoke with our very own Registered Nurse and Market Director, Jenna Simone, about the significant value nurses provide to their community and patients, especially during this time:
"Nurses are the true heroes of this pandemic, selflessly caring for patients in need while putting themselves in harm’s way every single day. They are at a unique position to really make a difference. It is inspiring to see Nurses take on care for their communities in new ways. They are faced with new challenges but still show up with compassion and provide support for all patients and their families."
How Nurses Improve Health Equity
Nurses are in a position to gain valuable insight into communities as they are on the frontlines of care for patients. With on-the-ground insight into common social needs, they have the ability to influence their patients and community by providing information on health inequities their patients face.
By understanding the environment where their patients live and work, nurses can help connect patients to resources that can help them reach the best health outcomes possible. Nurses can incorporate SDOH screening as part of their patient care routine when provided the right training and education on what to look out for. Social needs screening tools can help facilitate and standardize this practice.
Training can also involve empathetic practices including exercising trauma-informed care, which can strengthen the patient’s relationship with the care provider, and also help build trust in the health care system as a whole. Practices like these need to be supported and encouraged by leadership, which requires collaboration and consensus that the healthcare system needs to be restructured in a way that facilitates whole person care.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way health is delivered and exacerbated inequities across the world. Nurses have stepped up to fill their growing roles and responsibilities in this changing healthcare system, but we need a new healthcare structure to ensure that patient's needs are fully identified and effectively addressed. This involves setting all healthcare workers up for success by allowing them to work in interprofessional teams to collaborate and communicate on a patient's needs.
How We Can Support Nurses
Across the country, health providers are still short on necessary PPE that keeps their staff safe. Consider donating to funds such as:
- CDC's Coronavirus Fund: Supports community-based organizations and supports distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to high-need communities.
- Project HOPE: Works to provide personal protective equipment to healthcare workers, training frontline workers to treat COVID-19, help health systems ensure continuity of health services, and more.
- COVID-19 Frontline Health Worker Fund: Helps ensure frontline health workers have what they need to continue fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advocate for reform.
Too many hospitals are understaffed in nurses, leading to overworked employees who, as a result, may not be able to properly provide quality care.
To allow nurses to do their job sufficiently, safe staffing is needed, along with workforce development so they can constantly stay up-to-date with best practices, especially as SDOH becomes recognized as a key in improving health outcomes.
Jenna Simone's firsthand experience in nursing and belief in the ongoing potential for nurses to continue to transform healthcare inspires her work here at Activate Care:
"As our understanding of the coronavirus continues to improve, Nurses must revise their practices of care to make sure that our most vulnerable populations are protected. That’s what I love about Activate Care. The CareHub makes it as easy as having a Nurse hit the “Activate Care button” for their complex patients with multiple unmet needs right at discharge. This assures that the patient, family, clinical, behavioral, and social care providers as working together and communicating in one shared plan of care right from the beginning."
Although nurses are true healthcare heroes, they need our support to continue to improve their patient's and community's lives and health. We're looking forward to continuing to transform the way care is delivered and help nurses provide better health outcomes.