All industries are subject to change over time, and the field of nursing is no exception to this norm. While staying aware of trends is important for all health care professionals, it is even more vital for those in travel nursing. After all, hospitals in certain geographic locations have adapted to the times faster than other medical facilities, so the work environment varies greatly from one assignment to the next.
We want you to be prepared for the changes we’re seeing in nursing, so pay attention to the following:
Rise in home health care
The University of San Francisco’s Online Master of Science in Nursing Program created an infographic discussing the nurse of tomorrow, and it highlighted that home-based care will grow in popularity.
Specifically, as baby boomers enter the age of retirement and the prevalence of chronic disease goes up, many seniors will turn to home health as a long-term care option.
This means you may have more opportunities when it comes to deciding where you work, and choosing to take shifts in someone’s home can be a rewarding experience. According to the blog RNCentral, this career path allows you to really cater the care experience to patients, considering you’ll get a better idea of their interests and culture. Plus, you may gain more flexibility with shift hours.
Increased technology use
Just as phones are turning into advanced miniature computers and TVs are becoming a house’s electronics hub, the health care industry is also seeing progression in technology. From electronic health records to 3-D printing, the possibilities are virtually endless.
According to the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, integrating technology into health care and communication is beneficial for everyone. It can encourage at-home care, enhance safety, improve quality and increase efficiency. As a travel nurse, you may use a different digital system with each new assignment, so familiarize yourself with EHR tools and other health technology as much as possible to better prepare. Starting the workday with a willingness to learn new things will also go a long way in helping this transition.
You’ve probably heard by now that there is a shortage of nurses in the U.S., and the demand for care is expected to only increase in coming years. In fact, a 2012 report published in the American Journal of Medical Quality determined that by 2030, the majority of states, particularly those in the western portion of the country, will experience severe nursing shortages.
This is due to poor balance in supply and demand. The population is aging, and seniors have greater medical needs that ever before. However, there are not enough nurses to go around. This may require travel nurses to take assignments in areas of need and to wear multiple hats during shifts.
Nursing is changing – are you ready for the future of this profession? Stay on top of trends, get acquainted with technology and be prepared to take on expanding roles. While the road to the future has its challenges, it’s nothing you can’t overcome.