Today's nursing shortage is becoming an ongoing struggle across the nation.Patient-to-nurse ratios are at all-time highs,with some hospitals reportingnursing staff shortages of 20%-30%.And brand-new nurses are in high demand as they graduate from programs around the country. However, the responsibility of mentoring new nursesfalls on nursing teams that are already stretched thin and often can’t handle additional responsibilities while providing care.
As a result, trainee nurses are being thrown into care scenarios forgoing the standard shadowing period. Without proper mentorship, new nurses can't learn from their peers’ experience, potentially leading to mistakes that open the hospital up to expensive lawsuits. Furthermore, a lack of support for new nurses can destroy their confidence and push them to leave the field altogether. To solve this issue, some hospitals are utilizing telenursing as an innovative way to connect skilled nurses with trainees for one-on-one oversight and mentorship.
Remote Mentorship is the Future
VSTOne, a full-service patient monitoring and telemetry system powered by artificial intelligence, is utilizing it's in-built telehealth options to support digital mentoring in real time. The system includes secure HIPAA-compliant audio and video directly integrated with tv in patient rooms. This means telenurses can oversee new bedside nurses and patients every step of the way without bulky equipment. A virtual mentorship program provides flexible roles for retired or disabled nurses that cannot keep up with the physical side of nursing, while allowing them to share their wealth of knowledge to nurses that are just beginning their careers in medicine.
By pairing skillednurses, who would have otherwise left the organization, with brand new nurses, hospitals can ensure best practices are shared and built upon. New nurses have reliable guidance exactly when it's needed, meaning patients get efficient care and trainees can build confidence and experience. Furthermore, mentoring responsibilities are largely removed from the core nursing team, allowing them to focus on patient care.
Telenursing with VSTOne opens the door for valuable transitional roles for experienced nurses, better onboarding for new hires, and a more balanced workload across the board.
Streamlining Healthcare Delivery
Technology is becoming increasingly intertwined in healthcare, and as Sue Murphy, Chief Experience and Innovations Officer at the University of Chicago Medicine, commented in a 2020 article for HealthTech, “Technology can really streamline information across the continuum of care and extend the human touch of nurses. We never want technology to take over those interactions but to enhance the way we express that.” Technological innovations that foster strong mentorship and connection ensures not only the best care for patients, but a stronger nursing community that will retain nurses in the long run.
The aging U.S. population is creating a rising need for new nurses entering the workforce, and the medical industry will begrapplingwith this nursing shortage for the foreseeable future. It is beyond crucial that hospital systems instituteinnovative solutions for their teams today. Byinstituting telenursingtechnology and processes,care teams have the support they need to thrive in the day-to-day and avoid burnout.Nurses are vital to keeping our health systems running, andproviding technology and tools that support themwill be what sets successful hospitals apart and creates healthcare communities that will flourish.