Supporting Those Who Care for Us: International Nurses Day 2020
Able Innovations was founded with a key focus in reducing stress and injuries to caregivers. On this International Nurses Day, we reaffirm the importance of their work, our commitment to serving them, and the great potential of our patient transfer technology to assist them in their daily duties.
Nurses form the backbone of our healthcare systems. They are the frontline professionals who spend the most time with patients, and provide more than just clinical care, working to meet the intellectual, physical, and social needs of their patients. A crucial fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront is the immense importance of supporting nurses in order to have a well functioning healthcare system. Nursing shortages are consistently correlated with poorer outcomes in patient health, and it is essential for societies to ensure we have adequate nursing staffing ratios if we are to maintain the quality of healthcare provision in the future.
Unfortunately, today’s nursing workforce is dwindling. The World Health Organization estimates there are currently just under 28 million nurses worldwide. However this number is 5.9 million short of what we need to properly care for the growing population. Compounding this shortage is the fact that the ageing population in need of extra care is rising at a faster rate. Globally, surges in our ageing population, an ageing workforce, nurse burnout, and budget cuts, all lead to a shortage of nurses, which compromises a health system’s ability to provide the highest quality of care.
Why is this happening? Well, nursing is by no means an easy profession. The daily duties and responsibilities of nurses impose tremendous physical and emotional tolls. Insufficient staffing leads to stress and job dissatisfaction, with the resulting burnout driving high turnover rates. When the concerns of work follow them home, imbalance in work-life priorities stresses their own relationships. Chronic pain and exhaustion affect them outside of work. A major stressor is having to do the extra work of several nurses during a busy shift in an already under-staffed environment.
When nursing staffing levels are adequate, there are fewer deaths with shorter hospital stays and lower rates of infection. Rates of hospital re-admissions are again affected by burnout and staff shortages. While a clean-cut causal relationship between nurse staffing and patient outcomes is elusive, there is a universal consensus that sufficient nurse staffing is essential to a high-performing healthcare system.
What is to be done?
Among the most common sources of dissatisfaction among nurses are constant schedule changes, work overloads, lack of appreciation by superiors, the lack of provided childcare, and inadequate pay. Increased pay and empowerment in the workplace can do much to ameliorate these sources of dissatisfaction. Recently, there has been a growing interest in the potential of technology to support nurses and alleviate work stressors: for example, Electronic Medical Records can reduce the burden of paperwork duties, and assist with communication and care coordination in the hospital.
At Able Innovations, we’re doing our part to support nurses by developing the DELTA Platform, an automated patient transfer device that allows just one nurse to laterally transfer patients in an effortless manner. Today’s transfer devices, such as lifts, slings, transfer sheets, and roller boards, require 2 or more caregivers to exert significant physical strain when moving patients. Because of this, client handling is a major source of injury, causing roughly 20% of all injuries to healthcare workers. The high labour demand and injury rates that come with current transfer equipment are simply unsustainable and further contribute to nursing burnout and shortages. By enabling just one nurse to transfer patients in a hands-free manner, our DELTA Platform will free-up nurses’ time, and protect them from injuries and infections in patient transfers. Able Innovations was founded with a key focus in reducing stress and injuries to caregivers, and we believe our DELTA Platform will become an invaluable tool in supporting nurses in the workplace, which in turn will improve the healthcare outcomes for patients.
Nurses choose their profession because of a desire to help others. Their work is indispensable to society, if not always so visible. One positive result of this pandemic is the fact that we are all more cognizant of how we depend on each other. If we are to emerge stronger, we must keep this in mind and make a strong commitment to properly support those who do so much to keep society healthy.
On this International Nurses Day, Able Innovations expresses our support and admiration for these selfless individuals, and we reaffirm our commitment to supporting them with our innovative transfer technology.
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