In recent years Telehealth increased rapidly, especially over the past few months in particular—as patients and providers have adopted the service’s potential to upgrade healthcare. Through various telehealth platforms, patients can now access high-quality care from home or any other place faraway—this has been proved helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to safety, telehealth also offers convenience. Many factors like Long workdays, family obligations, long waiting room lines, etc have further pushed the popularity of telehealth in the 21st century. Given the promising future of telehealth nursing, many healthcare professionals are jumping in hastily and avidly asking what telehealth certification looks like for nurses.
Telehealth nursing is providing care remotely by using technology, including mobile devices, tablets, and computers. Advanced telehealth includes more than digital appointment reminders and confirmations. It offers real healthcare assistance from a distance. While a nurse’s role in telehealth varies depending on position, it is similar to the role during in-person visits like providing patients with care, education, and counseling.
Telehealth nursing is an essential part of large acute care institutions, serving as a mediator step in which nurses evaluate a patient’s condition and determine if an in-person visit is necessary. Healthcare professionals may also use remote nursing sessions to diagnose lower-risk conditions, outline treatment options, educate patients about self-care at home.
Future of Telehealth Nursing
The future looks bright for telehealth nursing as it provides benefits for patients and providers like convenience, high-quality care, faster results, etc. As technology advances, patients’ comfort with virtual patient-clinician communication tends to increase.
The growth of telehealth nursing doesn’t only mean more opportunities for quality care, it also signals new opportunities and large-scale transformation for the medical field. With more than 500,000 registered nurses projected to retire by 2022, the already dire nursing shortage is only expected to escalate. This is where telehealth comes into play.
The American Telemedicine Association predicts that by 2030 more than half of all healthcare services will be consumed virtually. If true, this extensive adoption of telehealth technology could reduce the effects of the nursing shortage. Due to the increasing value and trends of telehealth nursing, now is the time for medical institutions to begin incorporating telehealth technology and practices into their operations.
Strengthen Link Between Patients and Clinicians
Telehealth nursing can be incorporated into a medical setting in a variety of ways. For hospitals in rural areas successful telehealth nursing strengthens connection and communication between patients and clinicians.
Patients living in rural areas need to travel great distances to access medical care, and rural hospitals often lack access to specialty physicians, leaving many patients without the required healthcare support. Telehealth enables nurses to easily connect with patients from remote areas, providing quality care without extensive travel. Nurses in rural settings can also use telehealth technology to remotely connect patients with medical professionals, ensuring to have access to the specialized care they need.
Do Telehealth Nurses Work From Home?
Whether or not a telehealth nurse works from home depends on the nature of the work. While some telehealth nurses provide remote support alongside a team of telehealth professionals within a hospital, clinic, or corporate environment, many others conduct their work from home.
The ability to work from home and have more flexible hours attracts nurses seeking a better work-life balance. Telehealth nurses who work from home can maintain their positions from anywhere since they have a strong, reliable internet connection.
How To Become a Certified Telehealth Nurse?
Healthcare professionals interested in knowing how to become a telehealth nurse are fortunate because there are no telehealth-specific certifications required for telehealth nurses.
A telehealth nurse needs a nursing degree, an active nursing license, and the technological and communication skills mandatory for providing remote healthcare support. Most telehealth employers also require one to two years of hands-on nursing experience and in certain cases, the requirement might be three to five years of experience.
Telehealth employers focused on a specialty area will look for candidates with specific training and certifications. Suc as demonstrating their knowledge of ECG machines, or might need Certified Emergency Nurse credentials.
Taking Your Telehealth Nursing Skills to New Heights
While there are currently no mandatory telehealth-specific nursing certifications. The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) is considered a national authority on the efficiency and value of telehealth nursing. Although the AAACN does not offer specific telehealth nursing credentials, it does encourage telehealth nurses to gain ambulatory care certification.
Technical certifications aside, all of the qualities that an onsite nurse needs are empathy, breadth, and depth of knowledge, and strong interpersonal skills, which apply to a telehealth nurse. Importantly, successful telehealth nurses must strive to develop their skills continuously.
Put Telehealth Nursing Into Practice
Telehealth is quickly becoming an industry standard rather than just an option. Medical institutions across the country are discovering the benefits telehealth nursing provides and are incorporating the practice into their operations as quickly as possible.
Technology and telehealth nursing are advancing quickly, making it difficult for many healthcare professionals to keep pace. All medical institutions are encouraged to put training programs to support the continuing development of their telehealth nurses to ensure patients receive the highest-quality care anytime.
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