It’s Nurse Practitioner Week here in the U.S. and to celebrate, Matrix Medical Network, a clinical services organization that provides tools to manage the health of at-risk populations at home and at work, has just released a new survey that shows just how passionate NPs are about healthcare.
Checking in with NPs
It’s been a rough year for healthcare professionals at all levels of the industry. Whether they’re practicing on their own or working alongside other providers, nurse practitioners have been on the front lines of this pandemic. They often operate independent clinics in underserved communities, providing a range of primary care services.
Matrix Medical Network is quickly expanding its network of providers all over the country. It already has over 3,000 clinicians working on its behalf to better coordinate care among our nation’s providers. The company was uniquely positioned to respond to the health crisis with its array of on-site clinics, which provide viral testing, contact tracing, environmental assessments, clinical consultations, vaccine administration, and clinical trial support, as well as access to an expert clinical advisory panel.
In honor of National Nurse Practitioner Week, the company just released a new survey that shows NPs are getting more passionate about what they do. Matrix Medical Network analyzed nearly 500 responses from NPs across the country between Oct. 30th and Nov. 3rd, 2020.
Despite the long hours and brutal working conditions, 60% of NPs surveyed said the experience of working during the pandemic has strengthened their commitment to the nursing profession, while another 35% said their commitment level has remained the same. Just 4% said it had reduced their commitment.
That’s good news, considering the country has been teetering on the edge of a nationwide nursing shortage for years, a problem that’s only expected to get worse as the baby boomers continue to retire. In the short-term, it shows that NPs are not only surviving the pandemic, but they’re also thriving.
Treating patients for the coronavirus may give these providers a greater sense of purpose. Their patients and colleagues may also be aware of the services they provide, which has only fueled their passion over the last months.
One nurse practitioner who offers direct primary care spoke about how the crisis has changed her understanding of the healthcare industry:
“I have always been committed to my nursing profession, but feel health plan members need us even more than they did before the pandemic. Most members have not been able to see their primary care physicians since the pandemic started. This has made our visits, whether in-person (when allowed) or via telehealth, even more crucial. In many cases, we not only bring them care but also the human contact they may not be getting from other normal sources. When you see their response, it inspires you to do more.”
A Win for Telehealth
The survey also asked NPs how they feel about telehealth and how this technology has changed their practice. Like many healthcare companies, Matrix Medical Network has had to expand its telehealth program since the start of the pandemic.
Looking at the results, over 90% of NPs said telehealth has enhanced their practice, with 45% saying it has had a “very positive impact.” Just 3% of those surveyed said telehealth has had a negative impact.
Speaking on the issue, one NP commented:
“A lot of our members are elderly, and some are afraid to leave the house for fear of contracting COVID-19. That makes telehealth crucial for this population because it might be the only type of health-related visit they get during this pandemic. Telehealth enabled us to adapt what we do to the unfortunate circumstances we as a nation find ourselves in so we can continue to deliver access to care, and the power of human touch without the physical touch, in their time of great need.”
Others said they were grateful the technology was available to them when they needed it most. Laura Jonsson, chief clinical officer at Matrix Medical Network, shared her takeaways from the study:
“I am not surprised to see results like these. Our organization alone has more than 3,000 NPs, and we are in the process of hiring 1,000 more, so we have some strong insights into the level of commitment NPs bring. While it may sound like a cliché, it really is a calling, and we know NPs really care about the members they help.”
“I also think telehealth has proven its effectiveness in bringing NPs and members closer together and improving care, even when there isn’t a global pandemic in play. We at Matrix have seen how much having a telehealth option improves NP job satisfaction as well as member satisfaction, and plan to expand its use to further our mission of meeting members where they live or work.”
It’s clear that we need NPs now more than ever. The study also shows how much these providers and their patients have come to depend on telehealth in the age of COVID-19. Thanks to Matrix Medical Network for sharing the results. It’s a great way to celebrate everything NPs have done for public health.