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Traveler’s Guide to Nursing and Allied Health: Celebrating and Providing Support on National Caregivers Day

Traveler’s Guide to Nursing and Allied Health: Celebrating and Providing Support on National Caregivers Day

This week’s edition of the Traveler’s Guide to Nursing and Allied Health celebrates National Caregivers Day and how nurses can better support those providing assistance.

National Caregivers Day is observed each year on the third Friday of February, honoring all those individuals, professionals, family, and independent caregivers, for their physical and emotional support to those in need. According to the CDC, 25 percent of U.S. adults 18 years and older provided care or assistance to a person with a long-term illness or disability in the past 30 days. That number is expected to increase as Americans aged 65 years and older are projected to reach 71 million by 2030.

More than 96 percent of caregivers provide help with daily activities.

Caregivers’ services range from errand running and personal grooming to administering medical aid. There are plenty of benefits associated with caregiving, such as a sense of fulfillment and purpose for the caregiver and peace of mind and affordability for the patient and their family. Unfortunately, there are also drawbacks, even dangers, associated with informal or unpaid caregiving.

Approximately 46 percent of family caregivers perform medical and nursing tasks.

With the country’s aging population, healthcare staffing shortages, and rising medical care costs, caregivers face an increasing list of duties, including complex medical responsibilities that may be beyond their expertise, stressing caregivers and compromising patient care. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 survey, 21 percent of family caregivers reported their health to be fair to poor. At the same time, patients can suffer accidental injuries, medication errors, and even neglect and abuse. However, nurses, who often relay information to caregivers, can play a key role in preventing negative outcomes and supporting patient care.


Build A Relationship

Nurses and caregivers can make each other’s lives much easier. By empowering and uplifting a caregiver and thus building their confidence and improving their outlook, a nurse can improve the quality of care for and well-being of a patient, making that patient less likely to need higher-level care from a hospital or other facility.


Provide Resources

Caregivers often lack the information needed to properly look after a patient. Many caregivers receive little to no information about home health when a patient is discharged from a hospital. Provide professional guidance and resources on a patient’s specific illness or condition and additional tools such as caregiver apps, online information centers, stress-relief products, and support groups.


Skills Training

Many caregivers are tasked with performing duties they may not be experienced or comfortable administering. Identify these skills gaps and suggest sources or services to help build their experience and confidence.


Observe Caregiver Health
Stress and anxiety can be common among caregivers.

Caregivers can suffer poor health, including fatigue, high blood pressure, and a compromised immune system. They’re also at a higher risk for smoking, drinking, and prescription drug use. Access to resources and support is vital for caregivers to remain healthy and provide adequate assistance to the patient.

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 survey, the number of family caregivers increased by 9.5 million between 2015 and 2020. That number is expected to increase with the country’s aging population. A supportive relationship between nurses and caregivers is essential as we cope with workforce shortages, medical costs, and the desire of many individuals to receive care at home. For more information on caregiving, visit the National Institute on Aging.


Are you a Registered Nurse or Allied Health Professional looking to work and travel in the U.S.? With MedPro’s all-new MedPro Experience+ (MPX+), travel nurses and allied health professionals are taking control of their careers. MPX+ puts the power in travelers’ hands. Users have 24/7, real-time access to jobs, applications, credentials, assignment details, and more. Sign Up for MedPro Experience + today!

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