Uplifting nurses and caregivers in India

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Healthcare is one of the largest sectors in this country in terms of both revenues as well as employment. Nurses and caregivers are the single largest health professional group and they practice in nearly every setting of the healthcare system, including hospitals, long-term care, home health, ambulatory care, diagnostic and treatment facilities and clinics.
Nursing is a calling of care, which offers a pool of challenges. Despite urbanization and globalization in the country, the healthcare system in the country continues to face challenging changes.
To meet this changing demand, the well-motivated and well-prepared workforce is required. We can achieve this by meeting the requirement of nurses and taking care of their challenges which can lead to empowered and encouraged nurses who can continue to excel to do best without any barriers.

The Challenges
The nurse’s job duties consist of pushing heavy trolleys, patient beds, raising the patient to sit upright or laterally position them, shifting patients from one surface to another, bending when providing patient care such as making beds and feeding or infusing IV fluids, changing the patient from bed to wheelchair and vice versa, providing personal hygiene, etc.
On the part of the nurses, all these activities are strenuous and require a lot of physical effort.

  • Stressed for time and pressed
    Their physical and psychological well-being is helped by long working hours, overtime and job overload. 88 percent of nurses work 8-10 hours a day along with overtime at least two or three times a month, according to various reports (35 per cent do over time more than three times a month).

  • Infrequent pauses
    After four hours of continuous work, 28 percent take breaks, while 26 percent take no breaks on a workday (eight or more hours of work).
    As a discipline, nursing allows nurses to have a standing stance for their services.
    74% of nurses, however, are at a stretch for more than four to six hours a day while offering care that could inflict stress on their lower limbs.

  • Mechanical assist
    One of the nursing staff’s major and important job duties is to move a patient from one place to another.
    The following problems were highlighted by nurses during the study:

  • Using the gait belt, 44% of nurses lift the patient alone.

  • 58% lift the patient alone without the assistance of the gait belt.

  • 43% reposition of the patient alone in the bed

  • 57% move the patient from one bed to another with one person’s support.

  • 74% indicated that they did not use the mechanism.

In several different facets of practice, including functional elements (e.g., design of medical equipment, office, workstation and physical environment) and psychosocial elements, hospital room design requires factoring (e.g., job content, workload, autonomy and participation). All these elements affect the tension and performance of the nursing staff.
The design of hospital spaces and services plays a major role in nurses’ job satisfaction. In order to maintain a technologically advanced, ergonomically suited and design led healthcare setup focused around the patient and their caregivers, designers need to capitalize on design thinking methods. These spaces must be planned according to the nurses’ working hours and activities. The design must ensure that they have room for themselves to rest, heal, and rejuvenate. When designing the hospital facilities, reducing the tension and exhaustion of nursing staff and creating ergonomically comfortable environments should be given priority.

When designing these rooms, different steps may be taken, such as adjustment of furniture, obstacle-free positioning of medical equipment and furniture in the room, light in the room, ventilation in and around and preserving optional levels of acoustics. All these are critical for the rehabilitation of patients and the productivity of staff. Workspaces must be optimally built to promote ergonomics, performance, access, comfort and productivity, considering the long hours spent on the job.
Overall, in order to allow mental relief for the personnel, there should be a strong distinction between the staff areas and the patient-facing zones. To provide distraction and visual appeal, the fabrics, furnishings, colours and design should be distinct. To make them feel involved, the involvement of nurses in the design or renovation of their workspaces is important. It may serve as a high-quality output motivator and enabler. In addition to being a primary criterion of job design, participation is also an important aspect of a big change.

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