FUTURE OF NURSING IN CANADA AMIDST CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND STAFF SHORTAGES
May 19, 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak has burdened medical workers beyond limitations. As the number of cases increase steadily in Canada, nurses and other healthcare workers are gauging their preparedness in responding to the deadly crisis. Factors such as enough isolation beds, personal protection equipment, shortage of nurses, the demand of healthcare workers, etc, fall under important matters of consideration.
In order to deal with the pandemic efficiently, the Canadian government is doing all that is possible. Significant steps such as creating more job opportunities for overseas nurses, implementing better training and education measures for an increased number of enrolments in world-class postgraduate nursing courses in Canada, and reinforcing the retired nurses to serve on the front lines are being implemented.
The health care system stands responsible for assessing, managing, and overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure that the operations of nurses are at the best possible level, Canada is implementing strategies for minimizing the stress on paramedical departments.
These strategies involve the promotion of self-isolation and self-care, facilitating access to primary care services, training nurses with the help of relevant nursing study in Canada, increasing the use of the internet for offering medical advice, etc.
Since the nurses are integral for effective pandemic response, the government of Canada acknowledges that they must be trained well with the required nursing courses so that the maximum competency can be ensured. Different strategies that optimize the utilization of nurses, augment them, and provide them the necessary support are being facilitated. Additionally, health care workforce diversity is being considered as one of the most effective pandemic planning and responsive measures, which essentially means more hiring of international nurses.
Future of nursing in Canada amidst Corona Virus pandemic and staff shortages will be nothing less than bright with immense professional development opportunities, frequent recruitment drives, better pay rates, support, allowances, opportunities to enrol for nursing study in Canada, etc. The major reason for these developments is that the governments all over the world are realising the importance of nurses and giving them their due.
Let’s take a look at the future of nursing in Canada with the below-mentioned points as they provide a detailed understanding.
Resource management is actually a broad term that includes many different aspects. It is basically the first step that ensures a strong healthcare system with or without a pandemic situation. However, needless to say, it is all the more relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In essence, the resource management includes planning for the medical equipment and supplies, managing and taking care of the human resources (healthcare professionals) and ensuring the readiness of physical spaces such as hospitals, community centers, nursing homes to provide care. Managing, anticipating, coping with all the resources helps to assist the health care organizations and the practitioners for meeting the significantly increased demand for care.
The fundamental resource management strategies include managing and reducing the less urgent demand for care, maximizing the use of present resources, augmenting resources, etc. Nurses have a huge role to play in accomplishing optimal resource management. Since the need for resource management is only going to increase in the healthcare setting, the demand for nurses, and hence the recruitment of nurses is also going to increase in Canada.
2.HUMAN RESOURCES REQUIREMENT:
An already impending shortage of nurses in Canada has aggravated a lot more because of the COVID-19 situation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased need for human resources within the existing healthcare settings and in alternate care facilities as well. In these requirements, the most important one is that of the nurses.
Meeting the impending demand requires relocation of the healthcare workers such as nurses amongst multiple settings or different roles within a particular facility. This further means contracting and hiring of additional nursing staff. Right from trainees who have recently completed their nursing study in Canada, retired health care workers and other non-traditional workers have been considered to add the necessary support to the response effort.
Additionally, since the pressure on nurses is too high because of the COVID-19 situation, the demand for nurses is only going to rise in near future. Professionals who are constantly on duty also need a break to work efficiently.
3.PLANNING FOR OPTIMAL USE OF NURSING SERCVICES:
As mentioned above, additional nurses will be needed to fulfil the health care requirements in Canada. The estimated need of services will be based on the impact of the pandemic in various demographics. Other than the professional nursing staff, housekeeping and food service personnel are also employed so that nurses can be supported during surge operations.
The Canadian government is taking all possible measures to ensure that services of nurses are used optimally and maximum assistance is provided to them. In order to make sure that they make the maximum use of their skills, they will be supported with world-class nursing courses in Canada that facilitate a seamless transition into new roles.
Not just this, a crucial consideration is given to the medical and nursing professionals with administrative, research and educational roles to assume high-level clinical duties. Proper training is being given to the nurses so they can offer clinical services that they otherwise weren’t allowed to offer in normal circumstances.
The government is also allowing nurses the liberty to work at more than one healthcare facility. All these measures are being taken so that no healthcare setting in Canada is left understaffed.
4.REVIEWING AND CHANGE IN PRACTICE ARRANGEMENTS:
Given the level of medical emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a review and change in practice arrangements are also expected in the future. This means that the delegation of different tasks and authorities is expected to change during and after the pandemic.
In order to make sure that the best possible use of skills is being practiced, the nursing staff will be reassigned from their usual roles. This also means that the nurses will get an opportunity to make important decisions, exercise control in many situations, learn plenty, and acquire experience like never before.
The students who have completed their nursing study in Canada and internationally trained nurses will be most likely asked to step in for managing the different roles. The nursing courses in Canada deal with teaching practicing techniques and delegation of important acts needed in healthcare settings and these factors are likely to affect the process of reassignment in the future. Therefore, the nursing students must enrol for appropriate courses at the earliest.
5.RECRUITMENT OF ADDITIONAL NURSES:
To manage the ongoing pandemic and future response for the same, Canada will need to recruit additional health care workers and nurses. After rapidly assessing the qualification and the competencies of the nurses, they will be immediately recruited in the future.
The Canadian government will be taking different steps to recruit more nurses. Some of these steps include:
Recruiting qualified nurses in partnership with national and international nursing agencies.
Hiring the trainees who have recently completed their nursing study in Canada.
Hiring certified nursing assistants, the patient care assistants, etc.
Giving an upgrade to the nurses working in education, administration, research, etc. so they can handle more and more patients.
The nurses have garnered much-needed appreciation and respect because of their remarkable work in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada realizes the importance of professionals such as nurses and the role that is played by them in achieving the required health coverage. Therefore, in the future, nurses can definitely expect frequent recruitment drives and some of the best career development opportunities.
6. INSURANCE AND LIABILITY COVERAGE FOR NURSES:
The Canadian government has effectively planned to provide insurance and liability coverage to all the nurses including the trainees, volunteers, retirees, or any other workers that might be recruited to assist with the health care services during this pandemic.
The scope of coverage offered to the healthcare workers will also depend on the implications of liability protection and malpractice insurance. Additionally, the volunteers who register with some of the designated agencies may also be eligible for a worker’s compensation under the emergency legislation.
The government in order to ensure that the nurses get as many benefits and support that is possible takes steps like these. This can be thought of as a way to honour the work of nurses in overcoming healthcare problems. Insurance and liability coverage is another reason why working as a nurse in Canada can prove to be a great option.
7. HEALTH CARE WORKER SUPPORT:
Managing a pandemic is no easy job to handle. Nurses have important concerns that are related to personal and family safety. The mere willingness of nurses to work during and after a pandemic is something that is highly commendable and this is understood greatly by the Canadian government.
To ensure that the health care workers are supported during this time, no stone is being left unturned. The Canadian officials are communicating regularly with the health care workers to offer them adequate personal support so they can perform their duties without worrying about anything.
Nurses are being supplied with PPE kits, skills training focused on completing the duties, resilience training, etc. Moreover, a safe working environment, medical screening as they report for duty, counselling support, and job protection is also being provided to the nurses in Canada. All these measures boost the efficiency of the nursing practitioners and they will continue in the near future as well.CONCLUSION:
The pandemic created with the outbreak of Corona Virus is being fought head to head because of the unprecedented support and sacrifice of the healthcare staff. Nurses have a huge role to play in ensuring the health and well-being of the citizens and therefore, they are in high demand at the present moment.
As difficult as the times might be for healthcare workers as they fight the ongoing pandemic but the future of nursing in Canada looks promising. This is because Canada will be recruiting more nurses while giving them exceptional job opportunities and career development in the future.