Year : 2022 | Volume
: 23 | Issue : 1 | Page : 1--2
Post-pandemic changes and challenges in health care
Department of CNE and Research, College of Nursing, CMC, Vellore, TN MGR Medical University, Tamil Nadu, India', India
Dr. Vinitha Ravindran
Department of CNE and Research, College of Nursing, CMC, Vellore, TN MGR Medical University, Tamil Nadu
|How to cite this article:|
Ravindran V. Post-pandemic changes and challenges in health care.Indian J Cont Nsg Edn 2022;23:1-2
|How to cite this URL:|
Ravindran V. Post-pandemic changes and challenges in health care. Indian J Cont Nsg Edn [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 6 ];23:1-2
Available from: https://www.ijcne.org/text.asp?2022/23/1/1/349821
COVID-19 has brought immense changes which can be looked as opportunities and challenges in the way health care is provided. The pandemic has shaken the world and the ripple effects are felt globally. What was never thought as possible or positive were made possible either by means of necessity or because there were no alternatives.
The education on the prevention, risk management, identification and treatment of a disease has not taken such a proportion of media time in decades. People were generally knowledgeable about the disease process, progression and outcome., COVID-19 became the buzz word for many months. Irrespective of some defaulters, for the majority of the COVID wave period people adhered to COVID appropriate behaviour by following the prevention guidelines. Infection control has taken a new meaning and importance in people's, especially health-care workers' lives.
Home to Hospital
During the devastating periods of repeated waves, many homes became primary care centres and the family became professionals. This transition may or may not have been optional but family members took up the role of monitoring and caring for their loved ones, sometimes even amidst their own sickness and on most instances with the remote support of a health-care team from a hospital/health centre. The hospital at home is indeed being adopted by many organisations and acute care is being shifted to home health care.
What was once thought as difficult or impossible became the mainstay of treatment for many, especially those who had chronic illnesses. In the event of lockdown and acute and tertiary care facilities becoming COVID zones, consultations over the phone or through video calls became a natural means of accessing health. The change was accelerated by the intense need. Telehealth has become a norm even after COVID and is likely to reduce in-hospital visits to a minimum, introduce a blended approach, increasing the possibility of remote coverage of a wider population needing health care.
Online platforms and mobile apps have increased manifold which were and are still being used for patient tracking, monitoring and surveillance when needed within regions or countries. Social media was exploited to a maximum to deliver vital information regarding the need for supplies, hospital beds, and oxygen sources and to create awareness about vaccines and vaccine availability. While social media has been useful in many ways, the 'infodemic' (misinformation, rumours) is counterproductive in the fight against COVID and has been constantly addressed by the World Health Organization.
Critical Care Nursing
The notable contribution to COVID care came from Nursing. Within the context of increased demand for caring for hospitalised patients, the need for transitioning to critical care or acute care nursing became mandatory rather than an option. The training needs were felt early in the pandemic period by nurse managers and the rapid training in critical and acute care aspects such as triaging, screening, diagnostic testing, managing airway, ventilation and haemodynamics and psychological support of patients as well as family in critical care setting became a routine for almost all nurses. At the same instant, public health nurses played a vital role in supporting patients in the communities.
The lessons learnt pave the way for handling medical emergencies and also management of newer diseases. As the effects of pandemic are still evolving, we realise that we have moved ahead almost a decade in many ways irrespective of the loss at multiple levels. As nurses, however, we need to be aware of the post-pandemic physical, mental, social and behavioural health issues that are emerging. We have to critically think and plan for prevention, early identification and management strategies for these actual or potential problems/needs. We must be actually prepared for post-pandemic pandemic.
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