Navigating the COVID-19 Related Nurse Staff Shortage
Nursing is the nation’s most trusted profession. Consistently ranked number 1 in ratings of honesty and ethical standards, nurses have stepped up to be the true heroes of 2020, alongside doctors and other healthcare workers.
Though nursing is America’s largest  healthcare occupation, nurse staffing shortages have been a worry for some time now. The recent shortage, however, is different from its predecessors, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only added more to that concern.
The current deficit is caused by a broad set of elements:
- an aging population in need of geriatric care – the U.S. Census Bureau reported that by 2030, the number of US residents age 65 and over is projected to be 82 million.
- an aging nursing workforce that is eligible for retirement – approximately one-third of the current nursing workforce is 50 years or older according to a 2018 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration.
- a shortage of nursing school faculty is restricting nursing program enrollments leading to a limited supply of new nurses entering the workforce each year.
- insufficient staffing has been raising the stress level of nurses, impacting job satisfaction, and driving many of them to leave the profession.
On top of these factors, the COVID-19 pandemic has strained nurse staffing throughout the country even more. Increasing nurse-to-patient ratios and mandating overtime from already exhausted nurses has put excess physical and emotional stress on them. Many have experienced burnout and strains on their mental health as they lived through more loss and trauma in a year than they may have seen in their entire career. The nursing shortages have also been deeply accentuated by quarantining and sick staff, or by RNs who needed to care for family members at home.
In the face of the current nurse staffing shortage, and as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, Aulisa Medical is working to transform the way care is delivered at the bedside inside a hospital and at home. Our current line of wireless, wearable vitals monitoring systems provides continuous remote monitoring to avoid inconsistencies in spot-checking vitals and reduce the burden on nurses. This new technology decreases the chance of human error, making routine procedures simpler and more efficient, while, at the same time improving opportunities for intervention due to early detection of health incidents. Incident data recording also allows medical staff to have continuity of information and rely less on the medical history given by patients.
Technology will never replace the human connection so vital between nurses and their patients, however, we strongly believe in its tremendous ability to help out with chores. Our wearables enable nurses to remotely monitor patients even when engaged in other tasks, while other new technologies, such as electronic health records, significantly reduce their paperwork, and telehealth services allow patients to remain at home, cutting down the costs and time-consuming duties of hospital care.
That’s why we offer our Aulisa Guardian Angel®® RX CMPM System. This is a Centralized Multiple Patient Monitoring System for Real-time Digital Vital Signs wirelessly integrates multiple single-patient Aulisa Guardian Angel®® to a centralized monitoring system with a standard 16 bed or patient configuration. The centralized monitor can be placed at a nursing station or doctor’s office where they can monitor multiple patients remotely on a large display.
The system sounds alarms to alert healthcare workers at the Centralized display monitor and the single-patient Guardian Angel®®, when the patients’ vital signs are abnormal. Aulisa Guardian Angel®® centralized monitoring system can be customized to fit the unique requirements of the medical facility. It will substantially reduce the nursing time. Contact us today if you’d like to receive more information about our systems for your medical facility.
 Smiley, R.A., Lauer, P., Bienemy, C., Berg, J.G., Shireman, E., Reneau, K.A., & Alexander, M. (October 2018). The 2017 National Nursing Workforce Survey. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 9(3), supplement (S1-S54).