The last few years have been more than a little tumultuous for the nursing profession. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic gave nurses a wealth of work options, as healthcare providers desperately tried to increase their manpower levels or at least keep them steady. Travel nursing emerged as an intriguing – and lucrative – possibility for those who were willing and able to temporarily relocate.
But the realities of the pandemic, particularly at its outset, made quality of life a critical consideration for everyone in the care industry as well. This was nowhere more apparent than for nurses, who were showing signs of severe burnout whether they took on new travel opportunities or stayed in their original position.
A comprehensive survey from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing showed the extent of the damage wrought on the profession, even after the worst of the pandemic:
- More than 100,000 registered nurses (RNs) left the workforce
- 20 percent of RNs nationally intend to depart or already have
- Almost exactly half of nurses surveyed say they felt emotionally drained
- The rates of departure and distress were more pronounced with younger nurses
The findings, of course, paint a dark picture for the healthcare industry. And just as COVID-19 essentially materialized from nowhere and instantly sent the world into a tailspin, the spectre of the next health emergency is always looming.
At the crossroads
With the travel nurse gold rush subsiding, it’s natural for those who do want to stay in the industry to wonder what’s next for them: are they comfortable with the prospect of staying with a conventional facility, or are there better options elsewhere?
Ironically, as devastating as the pandemic was in so many areas of daily life, it also helped advance what has become the perfect career alternative for some nurses: virtual care. More and more patients and providers have turned to telehealth out of both convenience and necessity for care that doesn’t always require intensive procedures. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in fact, reports that 37 percent of all adult Americans used remote care in 2021, and the numbers are only increasing.
Nurses utilizing remote care are also seeing tangible benefits: much smaller risk of acquiring COVID-19 or other contagions, operating out of a home workplace, much more extensive outreach and far less stress while building relationships with patients who lean on their guidance, expertise and empathy for improved outcomes.
At HealthXL®, we’ve become an appealing alternative for nursing professionals who seek all these advantages, as well as being part of an exploding industry with others who share the same vision of modern care. And we know the specific qualities we need when we seek Care Coordinators: our two primary patient service offerings, Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) and Chronic Care Mangement (CCM), require very different skill sets, and we look for them specifically when we begin the hiring process.
This all leads to a culture of Care Coordinators who know exactly what’s expected (and needed) from them, getting to know their patients over the phone and/or video, helping them set up and use devices (in the case of RPM) or assisting the implementation of a physician’s customized care plan in between office visits. Senior patients love the attention they get from these interactions, and typically are much more engaged and likely to stick to the plan as a result.
There’s no better testament to the effectiveness of this approach than the words of an actual Care Coordinator. Like anyone else, Ashley has real-life concerns: children, such as a son who recently completed basic training in the U.S. Army, her own health, and time in between to actually unwind.
Here’s what she had to say about her experience with HealthXL®:
“I want to start out by saying how blessed I am to be a part of this HealthXL® team. I have never worked for a company that has been so supportive, where I feel like my work/life balance is really balanced. In the past, I remember days when I would stress about how I was going to be able to make certain family events or appointments due to work schedules.
Now, I don’t worry at all because HealthXL® has been amazing with supporting me so I can adjust to be able to work and still make my obligations. HealthXL® is my extended family. Everyone is always there to listen and support whenever needed.”
Ashley also stressed the connections she routinely makes with patients (even without being face to face with them), the life stories they can (and do) tell, and the difference she feels she’s helped make in their lives.
Get in touch
If you’re a nursing professional looking for a career destination in a growing industry, in addition to great benefits and greater people, HealthXL® could be the perfect option. Visit our Careers page for current opportunities or Contact Us to find out more about virtual care and our approach to it.