It is great to have flexibility. No one wants to be tied to a desk for eight hours a day. More and more jobs are offering more flexibility which makes it easier for all of us to work our full time job. Of course when nurses have to provide direct care to patients, it is hard to have this flexibility.
Let’s explore what we mean by flexibility first of all. To me, it means that one does not have to be present on a nursing unit in a hospital for the whole eight hours of her day. It used to mean that a nurse could not even leave the building to go out for lunch or even to go get lunch. One had to either bring his lunch or eat in the coffee shop or cafeteria. In other words, there was very little to no flexibility.
Patient care has changed so much today. A lot of care can be and is given either in an oupatient setting or in the home today. In order for this to happen, nurses need to either work in home care or in an oupatient clinic. I have even seen a patient at his place of employment such as a grocery store or in the patient’s office. (I had a teenager that did bagging in a grocery store after school and I went there to give him his insulin every day.) This shows that not only does the nurse need or want flexibility, but it is absolutely required by the patient in order for him to get the care that he needs.
Reasons For Wanting Flexibility
To repeat, it is not only the nurse wanting or needing flexibility, but the patient needs or wants it, too. Not very many patients want to be tied down to a hospital bed if the care can be given at home or elsewhere. Insurance has been the reason for a lot of these changes, which is a totally other subject, but this is where some of the flexibility comes from. The insurance company no longer wants to pay for a long, expensive hospital stay when it can be done at home.
Of course changes in our lifestyles make it necessary for many of us to need flexibilty today. Many parents are single parents or both parents work, which means that flexibilty in one’s job is necessary for many today. Sometimes, the nurse needs to be able to start a little later so that she can get the child on the bus for school and she needs to be home when the child gets off of the bus. Some nurses may need a job where she works from home on the computer all day or telephonically if she has a small child that is not in school yet. These jobs are becoming more and more prevalent, giving the nurse the flexibility that she needs. Some nurses have a parent or someone else in her family that needs her care so she needs to be able to have some flexibility. There are many reasons for needing more flexibility.
Some nurses are just tired of being tied down to an eight hour shift in a facility all day. She does not like being told what to do and how to do it and wants the ability to function on her own. She needs or wants flexibilty. Many nurses have advanced degrees and education and quite capable of working more independently. They want the flexibility to do this. Nursing has changed a lot and the places where they work need to recognize this and accomodate if it is possible. If this doesn’t happen, nurses will move on in order to meet their needs.
Jobs In Nursing That Have This Flexibility
As mentioned above, a couple of possibilities today is home care and ouptatient clinics or one day surgical centers. More and more telecommute jobs are becoming available, too. An example, is over the phone, psychotherapy and services that allow a patient to call for medical advice over the phone instead of going to a walk in clinic. A lot of inurance companies are hiring nurses to work from home on claims by patients. Much of the work on computers can and is being done at home. Nurses no longer have to sit at a desk to document and do paper work. Even education is being offered on the internet. One can get his degree from courses and programs this way, which means that there are jobs for nurses to teach from home. Some nurses become authors which is another form of flexibility.
Nurses can start their own business on the internet and become entrepreneurs. All of this is done from home at their leisure and they can definitely do this whenever they want to. If they want to stay with their children during waking hours and work in the evening or night they can do that. How much more flexibility could one have? Some nurses become authors which is another form of flexibility.
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There are many, many options for nurses today that provide flexibility.
What Does The Future Of Nursing Look Like?
One of my relatives that just got her CNA got angry with me when I hypothesized that some day there would be less and less of a need for nurses resulting in fewer nurses. I got really crazy and said that robots would be doing our work at the bedside. I guess this is crazy, but is it. A nurse will be needed to monitor monitoring systems and translate this and prescribe what is needed as a result of the findings. For example, monitoring systems are already being used in telemetry units to monitor the heart and B/P and requires someone trained in telemetry to sit at the desk watching these systems. I am sure that in the future there will be many, many more systems to do a lot of things that nurses, now, do, so maybe it is not such a crazy idea.
Flexibility. Going along with the last idea; who knows? Maybe nurses will even be able to do a lot of this from home, as well. Remember the Jetsons? Who knows? Couldn’t findings from various monitoring systems connected to patients be monitored from home? It seems likely to me.
For right now, it is enough to say that there is more flexibility for nurses today. There are many jobs that offer this flexibility for thoses wanting it. Flexibility within a facility such as a hospital is still lacking, but hopefully even this will change in the future.