Nurses play an essential role in the medical industry. According to a StatPearls resource, they have been the most significant healthcare profession in terms of number for the longest time. However, there has been an increasing turnover rate of registered nurses in 2021 due to the following factors;
Rising patient ratios
Elevated occupancy rates
Negative patient outcomes
Ultimately, these result in emotional/physical exhaustion and fatigue, motivating nurses to exit the bedside at an alarming rate. With the concerns of nursing shortage coupled with rising patient numbers, many physicians face the challenge of having fewer nurses to work with, leaving them with no choice but to perform duties otherwise best performed by nurses on top of their own.
So, what’s the solution?
Following the pandemic, virtual care has gained a reputation for being a convenient way to receive and deliver medical attention. By definition, virtual care is an umbrella term for the different ways healthcare providers interact with patients remotely – this includes virtual nursing.
As the name suggests, a virtual nurse is a medical professional who performs nursing tasks that don’t require close patient proximity. These include helping the doctors with the admission of patients, monitoring their vital signs, conducting patient surveys, and assisting in their discharge.
From the perspective of nurses, being a virtual nurse allows for a less physically demanding and more flexible work setup. Both are solutions to one of the many reasons why more and more nurses are shifting to different careers in the first place. Having virtual nurses also means physicians and practice decision-makers can solve a nursing shortage they may be facing.
In light of the recent nursing shortage, Saint Luke’s Health System director of virtual care, Jennifer Ball, said, “None of us are going to have the complement of nurses that we would like to have moving forward, so we have to get creative with the way that we provide care.”
Hiring staff members remotely can be a huge risk to some providers or practice decision-makers. However, hiring a virtual staff has advantages that heavily outweigh the disadvantages, including a lower likelihood of physician burnout.
How is virtual nursing the solution to physician burnout?
Starting with the basics, physicians burn themselves out when doing more than they should, which is often the case when a practice doesn’t have the staff it needs to perform optimally. Physicians without virtual nurses are burdened with other responsibilities, such as screening patients before appointments. However, when you recruit one, physicians can dedicate their attention to tasks specific to their scope of work, like diagnosing patient issues and prescribing medication.
In addition, virtual nurses can also work behind the scenes by handling time-consuming tasks such as medication reconciliation. Furthermore, they also increase the practice’s engagement by communicating with patients, their families, and other care team members in an efficient manner.
Even further, the cost of hiring a virtual nurse is lower than that of bedside nurses because they work remotely and require less overhead expense. However, that’s not to say that their expertise is compromised. More often than not, virtual nurses are also registered nurses who receive additional training to deliver outstanding results while working away from the practice.
Where can you find great virtual nurses for your practice?
Considering the influx of remote professionals in the past two years, there are a lot of great places where you can find and recruit great virtual nurses. However, the best option would be a reputable and credible company that specializes in matching medical practices with the best virtual medical practitioners.
For example, My Mountain Mover is a company that outsources remote talent and has a pool of virtual nurses trained to efficiently fill in the gaps in your practice. We receive thousands of applications, but because of our commitment to providing you with only the best, we only choose the top 2%.